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Bracewell Blog

September 29, 2014

Attention, people: The United States wants your bears.

September 24, 2014

Several months ago, as I was browsing through a forthcoming law journal article on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I noticed an entry in the article’s table of contents titled: “Offensive Use of the FCPA.” I have to admit that the mere idea of an “offensive” FCPA itself sent shivers down my...

September 17, 2014

One thing that I find entertaining about pro football is that the sky is falling after every week. Week One, Dallas is manhandled by San Francisco and will be lucky to win a single game all season. Week Two, the ’Boys stand tall against a mediocre Tennessee team, and it’s all “how about them Cowboys!...

September 8, 2014

The art or science of practicing law often comes down to two things: substantive knowledge and the ability to communicate. Put another way, it comes down to whether you know what you’re talking about and whether you can explain it to someone else, be it a judge, a jury, a client, or a four-year old.

September 4, 2014

Growing up, I always thought that goulash was some kind of dish where everything in the refrigerator ended up participating. (Wikipedia tells me that my mom was wrong!) Today’s blog ends up being just that kind of thing though, whatever you want to call it: a lot of topics that we’ve talked about before that are back – like...

August 28, 2014

I woke up today and everything was going along just fine. An uneventful early morning jog through darkness and spider webs, an easy commute. I logged on, checked the news … and then, everything changed. Suddenly, everything I knew was wrong.

Because Hello Kitty is not a cat.

August 19, 2014

In an article profiling John R. MacArthur, the publisher of Harper’s Magazine, MacArthur is quoted as saying, “I’ve got nothing against people getting on their weblogs, on the Internet and blowing off steam. If they want to do...

August 11, 2014

Small companies have it rough. Limited resources make local expansion difficult.  International expansion is harder still. So small companies seeking recognition overseas need to be creative. Unfortunately, unbridled creativity is dangerous and often leads to government investigations, FCPA violations, and criminal fines. And don’t think that smaller companies don’t register...

August 5, 2014

There are scintillating titles, and then there are scintillating titles. And then there’s the issue of an enormously significant data privacy case that happens to be captioned under the most soporifically benign name around: “In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corporation.”

...

July 31, 2014

Yesterday, the Senate did something.

(Aside: I know, right!? In the words of one of my colleagues, “Shut the front door!” Because at the end of 2014, this 113th Congress will be the least productive ever in passing...

July 25, 2014

You know how sometimes you misplace things? Glasses, wallet, keys, cell phone, remote control . . . vials of smallpox.

July 18, 2014

Hey, you know what's weird? Besides Snuggies, I mean.

It’s this: there are 47 different state data breach laws in the United States. Seriously. 47! And most of them have some sort of provision that says that if a breach requires notification of their citizens, then you’re going to fall under their jurisdiction. Whoa nelly. Buckle up.

July 17, 2014

The attorney-client privilege is the most sacred of our legal privileges, intended to foster free and frank communications between lawyers and clients by protecting the contents of these communications. The privilege has proven particularly important for companies conducting internal investigations, investigations that sometimes uncover less than savory information. But what if the privilege...

July 16, 2014

On Monday, Citigroup and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a comprehensive settlement resolving investigations and litigation by federal prosecutors and state and federal regulators that focused on the bank’s loan securitizations that helped lead to the real estate crash. In the settlement, Citigroup agreed to pay $7 billion, which was comprised of a $4.5 billion payment to...

July 9, 2014

On Tuesday, the Southern District of New York lost its first stock tipping case under the stewardship of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara when a federal jury acquitted former Galleon Group LLC manager Rengan Rajaratnam of participating in an insider trading conspiracy. This broke a winning streak of more than 80 convictions or guilty pleas in insider training cases. The government’s case...

July 7, 2014

At the American Health Lawyers Association meeting last week, Department of Justice officials signaled that the Department may shift to a model of bringing slightly fewer health care fraud cases overall but bringing them against large corporations, their executives, and other high profile targets. According to Law360, Daniel R. Anderson, the deputy director of the commercial...

July 3, 2014

Hey, did you know that you can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble on social media? No, seriously, you can! Wait, you already knew that? Everyone knows that? Well then, why does it keep happening?

July 2, 2014

When I lived in Washington, D.C., I had a brand new Motorola Razr. This made me cool. The only – hey, why are you laughing? Stop it. Okay. Where was I? Yes, my Razr. Near as I can tell, the only thing that my Razr could not do was this: text. And tweet, check Facebook, give me directions, download apps, and play Words with Friends. Well, and now that I think of it, I couldn’t watch...

July 1, 2014

In Loughrin v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-316, the Supremes approved the application of the federal bank fraud statute to a relatively unsophisticated check cashing scheme, leading to the collective hand-wringing by a host of internet commentators who decried the federalization of state crimes and runaway prices at Whole Foods. The defendant in the underlying case was a...

May 19, 2014

Difficult Dan has been an employee long enough—his poor performance, adverse attitude, and carelessness have finally resulted in termination. Good riddance and nothing to worry about, right? Unfortunately, you may not be done with Dan just yet.