On March 19th, the SEC issued a Litigation Release concerning the March 15, 2010 order issued by the federal district court overseeing the research analyst conflicts of interest cases. The Commission noted that certain restrictions remain in place including the physical separation of research analysts from investment banking; and a prohibition against communications between investment banking personnel and research analysts regarding the merits of a proposed transaction or a potential candidate for a transaction unless a chaperone from the firm's legal and compliance department is present. The court approved the removal of certain provisions from the settlement because rules issued by the National Association of Securities Dealers and New York Stock Exchange addressed the same concerns and provided comparable protections. SEC v. Bear, Sterns & Co. Inc., Lit.Rel.No. 21457.