James A. Meyers

Partner
Securities Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement

Mr. Meyers, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office, is a member of the Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement group. Mr. Meyers’ practice focuses on the full range of SEC enforcement matters, including alleged accounting and financial fraud, broker-dealer issues, insider trading, and alleged false statements or omissions in SEC filings and elsewhere. Mr. Meyers has also successfully represented clients in private securities litigation.

Mr. Meyers is recognized by Chambers USA 2012 in Band 2 for securities litigation. According to Chambers, Mr. Meyers “consistently achieve(s) successful results for clients in the full range of SEC, PCAOB and FINRA enforcement investigation and litigation matters.”

Successful results include:

For Financial Institutions and Related Individuals

  • SEC v. Mozilo, et al. Representation of former President and Chief Operating Officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation, in SEC enforcement action alleging disclosure fraud by three of Countrywide’s senior executives. The case settled with client consenting, without admitting the allegations of the complaint, to certain injunctive relief, an out-of-pocket payment of $520,000, and an agreement not to serve as a director or officer of a public company for three years.
  • Representation of a Wall Street investment firm in numerous SEC and NASD investigations regarding a variety of issues. No enforcement action was taken against our client in any of these matters; however, three other major investment firms were fined and censured in at least one of the matters.
  • Representation of a trader at a hedge fund in SEC investigation into possible market timing; no enforcement action taken against our client, though the hedge fund and the broker-dealer through which it traded agreed to a settled enforcement action.
  • Representation of a former compliance officer of a major investment bank in SEC investigation into possible market manipulation; no enforcement action taken against our client.
  • Representation of a floor trader for a major investment firm in SEC and DOJ investigations into possible insider trading; no enforcement action taken against our client.

For Other Public Companies and Related Individuals

  • Representation of entities in several SEC accounting fraud investigations; no enforcement action taken.
  • Representation of public companies and other entities in internal investigations, including investigations resulting from whistleblower allegations, regarding possible accounting and other issues.
  • Representation of two public companies in SEC insider trading investigations of alleged insider trading with respect to those companies’ stocks.
  • Representation of the former CFO of an insurance company in connection with the SEC’s omnibus investigation of accounting for finite reinsurance. Client received a Wells notice indicating the Staff’s intent to pursue fraud and other charges but, following receipt of our Wells submission, the Staff terminated the investigation without taking any enforcement action against our client, though the company did enter into a consent agreement with the Commission.
  • Representation of a company and one of its officers in a SEC investigation of alleged accounting fraud in the oil and gas industry. Though the SEC staff issued Wells notices to the firm’s clients, it ultimately terminated the investigation without enforcement action against the clients, even though another company and several other individuals entered into consent agreements with the Commission.
  • Drafted a Wells submission on behalf of client, the CEO of a public company, in an insider trading investigation; ten days after the Wells submission was made, the staff decided to terminate the investigation without taking any enforcement action.
  • Representation of the former CFO of a company in the health care industry in a SEC investigation into possible accounting fraud. The SEC staff terminated the investigation without enforcement action against the firm’s client.
  • SEC v. Berry. Representation of the former General Counsel of KLA-Tencor Corp. and Juniper Networks, Inc. in SEC and private litigation alleging unlawful stock options backdating. Achieved partial Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of the SEC’s original and first amended complaints as well as the private plaintiffs’ complaint. The private action settled, with client paying no money. The SEC action settled pursuant to a consent order that did not include an injunction against scienter-based fraud violations, the first instance to our knowledge in which the Commission did not require such relief against a General Counsel in litigated or settled actions alleging unlawful options backdating.
  • SEC v. Mercury Interactive, LLC, et al. Representation of the former General Counsel of Mercury Interactive, LLC in a federal court SEC enforcement action alleging unlawful stock options backdating. Achieved full dismissal (without prejudice) of the SEC’s first amended complaint and partial dismissal of the SEC’s original and second amended complaints. The case settled pursuant to a consent order that did not include an injunction against scienter-based fraud violations; this case and Berry are, to our knowledge, the only ones in which the Commission did not require such relief against a General Counsel in alleged options backdating cases.
  • SEC v. Espuelas, et al. Representation of the former Senior Vice President, Global Sales, of StarMedia Network, Inc. in a federal court SEC enforcement action alleging improper revenue recognition. The court dismissed the fraud and most of the other claims of the SEC’s original complaint as to the firm’s client, and it dismissed the allegations of the first amended complaint as to the client based on one of the two sets of transactions. The case settled pursuant to a consent order that required no civil penalty, no disgorgement, and no officer-and-director bar.

For Auditing Firms and Related Individuals

  • In re Doral Financial Corp. Sec. Litig., 563 F. Supp. 2d 461 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), aff’d, 2009 WL 2779119 (2d Cir. Sept. 3, 2009): obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal with prejudice on the first motion to dismiss on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in a case alleging accounting fraud by a mortgage lender, and summary affirmance by Second Circuit.
  • In re Acterna Corp. Securities Litigation, 378 F. Supp. 2d 561 (D. Md. 2005): on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal with prejudice of federal securities law and state common law claims alleging accounting fraud (alleged overstatement of company’s goodwill as a result of two acquisitions).
  • In re Lawrence A. Stoler, CPA, Admin. Proc. File No. 3-12179 (July 31, 2006): representation of former engagement partner in SEC Rule 102(e) administrative proceeding with respect to audits of a defunct hedge fund; helped to negotiate consent order pursuant to which client agreed to cease and desist order and one year suspension from practice before the Commission, with right to reapply.
  • Representation of a partner at a Big 4 accounting firm in a PCAOB investigation in connection with client’s receipt of the PCAOB equivalent of a Wells notice. Following receipt of our Wells submission, the Division of Enforcement and Investigations declined to recommend any enforcement action as to our client.
  • Representation of individual auditor at a Big 4 accounting firm in the first-ever litigated PCAOB administrative proceeding. Matter is confidential.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Meyers served as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. During his tenure, he received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence and the Capital Markets Award. While at the SEC, Mr. Meyers handled the following matters that involved significant litigation or other work in the district court, and was also involved in other prominent matters that were brought as settled actions.

  • The Global Research Analyst Settlement. Mr. Meyers was the SEC’s lead trial counsel in these path-breaking actions against 12 Wall Street investment banking firms and two individuals alleging conflicts of interest among research analysts, publication of fraudulent and/or misleading research and similar conduct at such firms. These actions resulted in a settlement exceeding $1.4 billion. Mr. Meyers’ primary responsibilities in this matter included negotiating certain settlement terms and the language of the complaints, drafting the final judgments and representing the Commission before the Court in obtaining approval of the proposed final judgments and responding to investors’ motion to intervene.
  • SEC v. Breed. Mr. Meyers obtained a final judgment, including full disgorgement, injunctive relief and a three-time civil penalty, against a defendant for insider trading, and final judgments against three of his family members as relief defendants. He also obtained discovery sanctions, including attorneys’ fees and costs, jointly and severally against relief defendants and their counsel.
  • SEC v. System Software Associates, Inc. Mr. Meyers obtained final judgments, including injunctions, disgorgement and a third tier civil penalty, in a financial fraud case alleging improper recognition of software license revenues. He also obtained a reported decision (145 F. Supp. 2d 954 (N.D. Ill. 2001)) denying defendants’ motion to dismiss.
  • SEC v. Leach. In this case alleging fraud regarding mini-tender offers, Mr. Meyers obtained final judgments containing full injunctive relief, full disgorgement and third tier civil penalties against two individuals and a company wholly owned by one of the individuals.
  • SEC v. Schiffer. Mr. Meyers obtained summary judgment for approximately $15 million in disgorgement (plus prejudgment interest) in this case involving material false and misleading statements, insider trading, market manipulation and sale of unregistered securities.
  • SEC v. Midpoint Trading Corp. In this insider trading case, Mr. Meyers obtained a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction freezing assets and according other relief against foreign defendants.

Mr. Meyers has written numerous articles and has spoken frequently on a variety of topics involving SEC enforcement, antitrust and trade regulation.

James Meyers
Select Publications
Admitted In
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
Supreme Court of the United States
    United States Court of Appeals
    • District of Columbia Circuit
    • Third Circuit
    • Fourth Circuit
    • Sixth Circuit
    • Ninth Circuit
    United States District Court
    • District of Columbia

    Education
    • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1981
    • A.B., magna cum laude, History, Brown University, 1978
    Honors
    Memberships
    • District of Columbia Bar

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