Summary judgment was properly entered in whistleblower suit. The former president of a company claimed that he was unlawfully terminated from his employment in retaliation for having engaged in protected activity under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Affirming the entry of summary judgment dismissing the suit, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that plaintiff failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that his alleged protected activities were a contributing factor to his termination. (5/12/2014) Feldman v. Law Enforcement Associates Corporation.
Lifetime industry ban is affirmed. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the SEC’s order barring Carl Birkelbach for life from the securities industry for supervisory failures. Although the supervisory failures began more than five years before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority initiated the proceedings, the matter was not barred by the statute of limitations. Where, as here, there is an ongoing series of failures to supervise those failures are divisible even if there was additional untimely violative conduct. In addition, the court found that the egregious nature of Birkelbach’s failures supported the SEC’s order affirming the decision to ban Birkelbach. (5/2/2014) Birkelbach v. SEC.