August 12

Happy Third Birthday to the SEC’s Whistleblower Program!


The SEC’s Final Rules for the program were effective as of August 12, 2011. Through the end of Fiscal Year 2013, the SEC received 6,573 tips through the Whistleblower Program and had granted 6 awards. See 2013 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program The relevant information for Fiscal Year 2014 should be available in November.

Unless the SEC increases its rate of whistleblower awards substantially, the Whistleblower Program is likely to become less attractive to potential whistleblowers. With odds of receiving an award so low (0.09%), it is questionable whether a potential employee tipster might decide not to take the time, effort, and risk to submit a tip to the SEC at all. Attorneys may correctly advise potential tipsters that there is a low likelihood that they will be rewarded for their information. If that happens, there will be less tips leading to even less awards, and, potentially leading to a slow death to what could have been an important enforcement tool.

May 21

5 Things You Can Learn About Business Divorce From The Good Wife Season Finale

"I handle corporate divorces of parent companies."

(Spoiler alert: This post includes a discussion of the plot from the episode of The Good Wife that aired on Sunday, May 18, 2014.)

 1. Breaking up is messy.

Just like breaking up a family can be stressful and devastating to all those involved, a business break-up can be emotionally and financially devastating. Often, those who have the power or the capital want to break away from other members in the organization. The break up itself may negatively affect the value of the enterprise as a whole, especially if it is done as a power play driven by ego rather than as a rational decision for the benefit of the business as a whole.

2.  Have an exit plan ready at the beginning (think of it as a business pre-nup).

On The Good Wife, Diane Lockhart had other options available to her: to run for State’s Attorney (with the Governor’s support) or, perhaps, to bring her $38 million in yearly billing to Alicia Florrick’s firm. Often, in real life, those types of options don’t conveniently present themselves at the time of the business break up.

May 5

Felicello Law Presents: Branding Your Best Asset — You


Branding Your Best Asset- YOU

With Robyn Hatcher, Communication Coach & Tania Sterl, Image Consultant

Come for the wine & cheese, leave with your own PERSONAL BRAND.

Ditch the “elevator pitch” and learn how to have engaging, ONE-ON-ONE conversations.

Learn tips from the PROS so that you can OWN the ROOM at your next presentation.

Discover your ACTORTYPE — yes, it’s a thing — and (once you figure out yours) learn how to make it WORK for you!

Leave with CONFIDENCE in your image, presence and body language so that you can BE YOURSELF (with no second-guessing) the next time you are called on to make an impression.
Get ready for a highly interactive, fun and informative discussion!


May 22, 2014, 5:30-8:30pm
Felicello Law P.C., 605 Third Ave, NYC

Space is strictly limited. RSVP to to reserve your spot!

About Robyn Hatcher:

R.Hatcher.headshotRobyn, former actor & communication skills expert, believes everyone can learn to command a room, speak with power and communicate their greatness. Robyn, owner of a boutique communication training company, will give you tips on body language, vocal tone and content so that you can powerfully represent yourself and your business.

March 14

Does short selling + lobbying = stock market manipulation?


As extensively detailed by the NY Times in a recent article, this is the business model of Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management’s short bet on the stock of Herbalife.

The most questionable conduct outlined in the NY Times article is the reported fact that Mr. Ackman was informed about government action before the action was made public. Specifically, Mr. Ackman was told about a letter sent by Congresswoman [Linda T.] Sánchez  to the F.T.C. before this information was released to the public. This is troubling because Mr. Ackman could have purchased additional short options before the news was released that Ms. Sánchez had asked the F.T.C. to investigate Herbalife. If disclosure of Ms. Sánchez’s letter to the F.T.C. had caused the price of Herbalife’s stock to drop, Mr. Ackman’s firm would have reaped the benefit. Similarly, Senator Edward Markey’s office may also have provided Mr. Ackman  a copy of a letter being sent to the F.T.C. and the S.E.C. before the letter was sent to the agencies. This advance notice would have given Mr. Ackman time, again, to purchase additional short options in anticipation of the effect of the public disclosure of Mr. Markey’s letter on the stock price of Herbalife.

This is material, non-public information. It is information that existed as a result of Mr. Ackman’s own efforts. In my mind, this gets close to the definition of stock manipulation.

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