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Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Wal-Mart Derivative Actions

Wal-Mart

As highlighted in this prior post, in March 2015 a federal district court dismissed eight Wal-Mart shareholder derivative actions (consolidated into one) brought in the aftermath of the company’s FCPA scrutiny.

Last Friday in this opinion, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the dismissal.

Those who predicted that the Wal-Mart derivative actions would set a new standard for director liability were once again proven wrong (see here for the prior post).

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

A public service announcement, Wal-Mart’s pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses, scrutiny alert, happenings in Bermuda, a fee dispute, quotable, a useful timeline, for the reading stack, and good for a few chuckles. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

A Public Service Announcement

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act requires the disclosure of a material connection between an advertiser and an endorser when the relationship isn’t otherwise apparent to consumers. As the FTC has made clear, the law applies to bloggers.

Certain members of the FCPA’s blogosphere (who frequently write about compliance best practices, transparency, conflicts of interest and related topics) may want to take notice and act accordingly.

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Wal-Mart’s Recent Disclosures

Wal-Mart

Last week, Wal-Mart made several disclosures that touched upon its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny and compliance enhancements.

This post highlights FCPA and related information in Wal-Mart’s Annual Report, Proxy Statement, Global Ethics and Compliance Report, and Global Responsibility Report.

The Global Ethics and Compliance Report in particular will be of interest to compliance practitioners.

In short, regardless of what may (or may not) have happened at Wal-Mart approximately 5-10 years ago, it is clear that Wal-Mart has become an industry-leader in FCPA compliance best practices. Anyone who fails to acknowledge this is simply not credible.

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Wal-Mart Four Years Later

Wal-Mart

Four years ago today, the New York Times published an article (here) titled “Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle.”

The conduct at issue in the Times article related to Wal-Mart’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico (“Wal-Mart Mexico), and suggested that Wal-Mart Mexico “orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance” and that the entity “paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner” of Mexico.

The April 2012 NY Times article resulted in intense world-wide media scrutiny of Wal-Mart. I remember that week four years ago well as the phone and e-mail lit up with interview requests.

However, it was known months before the NY Times article that Wal-Mart was under FCPA scrutiny.  (See here for the December 2011 FCPA Professor post highlighting Wal-Mart’s FCPA disclosure). Like in many facets of modern life, the narrative that Wal-Mart’s FCPA scrutiny began with the NY Times article became more important than the actual facts.

Thus, this week is a false four year anniversary of Wal-Mart’s FCPA scrutiny, but a meaningful anniversary nevertheless.

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Friday Roundup

blog1

From the dockets, you gotta be kidding me, it’s a numbers game, former DOJ FCPA Unit Chief Duross on …, scrutiny updates, a foreign official teaser, a bracket of a different kind, and an event notice. It’s all here in the Friday Roundup.

From The Dockets

Two developments in DOJ FCPA individual actions.

One the DOJ apparently wants you to do know about because it issued a press release, the other apparently not because there was no press release.

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