Mark D. Hunter


The Article examines the simultaneous civil investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and criminal investigation by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) through the United States Attorney’s Office regarding alleged violations of the federal securities laws. Part II of this Article introduces traditional authority, both statutory and case law, for the SEC and DOJ to conduct parallel proceedings. Part III briefly describes the SEC’s methods and procedures for gathering and sharing information with the DOJ. Part IV describes the rights and privileges afforded to suspects, while Part V describes the rights and privileges that suspects are not afforded despite the obviously unfair situations such suspects must face as a result. Part VI describes the procedures used by targets to combat these unfair situations, with particular attention afforded to the procedure of moving for a stay of the civil proceeding pending the resolution of the criminal proceeding. Part VII analyzes the judicial standards utilized by courts in determining whether to grant the stay of the civil proceeding, focusing on apparent recent judicial trends. Part VIII describes criticism of SEC/DOJ parallel proceedings, as well as the effectiveness of such criticism, while Part IX discusses why such criticism is largely inappropriate.

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