The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) administrative courts have sustained criticism in recent months from the federal court system and defendants. Critics argue that the administrative judges and proceedings unfairly disadvantage defendants, lacking the rigor of federal court proceedings. Earlier this month, two federal district judges followed suit in ordering the SEC to halt proceedings based on concerns with the presiding administrative judges.
Judge Leigh Martin May in Atlanta and Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan ruled in cases involving Gray Financial and former Standard & Poor’s executive Barbara Duke respectively. The rulings took issue with the constitutionality of SEC in-house court proceedings and fast-track deadlines to close cases with convictions. The two rulings follow similar previous actions earlier this year. The growing trend and sentiment among federal judges will likely expedite the review of this SEC’s administrative courts in the near future.