insider trading liability

One issue with which courts dealing with insider trading cases have struggled is how to interpret and apply the personal benefit element of the liability standard. The personal benefit standard was in fact an important part of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Salman v. United States (as discussed here). Last week, the Second Circuit issued an important decision in the United States v. Martoma, in which the appellate court provided important additional perspective on the personal benefit test. In the following guest post, Brad S. Karp, Geoffrey R. Chepiga, Daniel J. Kramer, Lorin L. Reisner, Audra J. Soloway, and Richard C. Tarlowe of the Paul Weiss law firm take a look at the Second Circuit’s decision in the Martoma case and the appellate court’s discussion of the personal benefit test. I would like to thank the authors for their willingness to allow me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Divided Second Circuit Panel Overrules Prior Newman Insider Trading Decision

Justice Samuel Alito

In one of the most watched business cases on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket this term, the Court on December 6, 2016 unanimously affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling upholding the insider trading conviction of Bassam Salman. Salman had traded on tips he received from the brother of a former Citigroup investment banker; Salman himself was married to the sister of the Citigroup banker. The case raised the question of whether or not the “personal benefit” that the tipper received from passing along the trading information must be pecuniary in nature in order to support an insider trading conviction for the tippee.

The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, held that a jury could infer that the tipper personally benefited from making a gift of confidential information to a trading relative. The Court rejected the Second Circuit’s suggestion in its 2014 opinion in U.S. v. Newman that the tipper must also have received something of a “pecuniary or similarly valuable nature.” The Supreme Court’s December 6, 2016 opinion in the Salman case can be found here.
Continue Reading Supreme Court: Gift of Insider Information to Friends and Family Supports Insider Trading Conviction