Jarksey v. SEC and the Future of Administrative Adjudications

On May 18, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a novel and divisive decision that greatly restricts the administrative enforcement powers of the SEC and its use of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) in Jarksey v. SEC. Although much deliberation has been had over the implications and immediate impact of this ruling, the takeaway is that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be facing significant challenges to its internal enforcement procedures in the near future.

Technology Giants Facing Historical BIPA Violations  

A settlement has been reached in a $100 million dollar class action lawsuit against Google impacting an estimated 1.4 million Illinois resident users. The order comes as a result of Rivera, et al. v. Google LLC , where users photographs appeared in the storage application service, known as Google Photos, without having acquired proper consent nor provided notice to its users. Google is only one of many technology giants joining trending litigation in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).  While this settlement  is one of the largest in Illinois to date, one can expect there to be more class-action lawsuits on the way.

Employment Contracts: The History of Non-Compete Agreements and the Future of Garden Leave Provisions

Non-competes are a traditional approach for employers seeking to place a restrictive covenant on an employee post termination or resignation. Recent studies show as high as 39.8 percent of all private sector employers are requiring non-competes, regardless of age or position. These agreements are typically signed by an employee near the date of hire, or over the course of employment, and typically limit the employee from working for or with competitors post-employment; sometimes even placing further restrictions regarding geographical areas or time periods.

The Long Road Toward Federal Data Privacy

In June of this year, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Consumer protection and Commerce met regarding the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA). At this meeting the committee members highlighted that this bill, seeking to establish federal data privacy, is intended to be a compromise on the topic of federal privacy legislation as committee members from both sides agree that a federal privacy act is necessary.

Are Tighter Gun Regulations the Answer to Combating Gun Violence? 

  Taelor Thornton  Associate Editor  Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024  On May 14, 2022, a gunman opened fire with a legally obtained AR-15-style rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people. Ten days later, an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, …
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Largest Alleged Violation in FEC History – Investigation Blocked, Case Closed

In June, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) announced that they would not investigate allegations that two of former President Trump’s campaign committees illegally misreported hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. If true, these allegations would constitute the “largest alleged violation in FEC history” according to FEC Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub. The initial complaint alleged that the committees failed to disclose payments to friends and family members of the former President, such as  Lara Trump, who is Trump’s daughter-in-law, and Kimberly Guilfoyle – Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancé. In it’s decision, the FEC’s Republican Commissioners voted not to investigate the matter, which is therefore no longer being pursued. This situation illustrates how the FEC has consistently failed to investigate the Trump reelection campaign for alleged violations of campaign finance law. 

Digital Footprints in the Post-Roe Era

On June 24, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade. In doing so, it declared that there was no longer a constitutional right to abortion, allowing state police power to determine its legality. Immediately after this decision, trigger laws went into effect across a quarter of the states, making abortions illegal. Post Dobbs, information collected on personal devices, especially through period-tracking and telemedicine apps, is at risk of being exposed and utilized as criminal evidence.

DOJ’s Unveils New Tool to Fight Corporate Crime: Care About Compliance

In an effort to deter corporate crime, the Justice Department (DOJ) has implemented a new policy aimed at giving chief compliance officers more authority. Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) may now need to certify the integrity of their compliance programs and be personally liable if their programs do not “reasonably prevent and deter compliance issues.” According to Brian Michael, a former chief compliance officer (CCO), some industry professionals fear that such a policy would place compliance officers in a position to be personally liable for decisions that they have little say over. There is also worry that implementing such a policy would place CCOs in direct conflict with senior executives. However, Kenneth Polite, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division, insists that the new policy will place CCOs in a better position to ensure the integrity of their compliance programs. Polite hopes to force corporations to invest in compliance now rather than pay later.

Imperative Progress in Your Data Privacy and Protection

Amanda Scott Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024 In June 2022, a draft of a bipartisan bicameral bill known as the American Data Privacy and Protection Act was introduced. This bill was proposed as a replacement to current laws to further protect and strengthen federal data privacy and protection regulations. This …
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Loot Boxes: Benign Entertainment or Gambling for Minors?

In 2019, Senator Josh Hawley put forth legislation to regulate loot boxes advertised or sold to minors in video games. The legislation was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation but did not move any further. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been researching the use of loot boxes since 2018 and has done multiple workshops to promote public awareness of microtransactions. More recently there has been public sentiment for changes in the gaming industry and other countries such as Singapore have taken steps this year to protect consumers from predatory practices of game companies.