September 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 263

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September 20, 2021

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If You Are Looking To Be Taken Seriously, Write To The SEC And Be Prepared For A Wait

Over five years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to its Rules of Practice to require persons involved in SEC administrative proceedings to file and serve documents electronically.  I was the first person to submit comments on the proposed rules.   In November last, the SEC finally adopted final rules.   

In my comment letter, I expressed my concerns that the SEC's proposal to require redaction of "sensitive health information" was inconsistent with FOIA Exemption 6 which specifically and explicitly exempts from agency disclosure “medical information”.   5 U.S.C. §  552(b)(6).  I also argued that the SEC's proposal did not provide a basis for determining what information constitutes "sensitive health information".   I was heartened to read that the SEC, while not agreeing with my interpretation, took my concerns to heart:

"Nonetheless, we take seriously the commenter’s concerns regarding Exemption 6's protection of health information. Our staff will continue to review filings before posting them.  And although the Commission is not required to protect all information that FOIA Exemption 6 protects when releasing filings in administrative proceedings, the policy behind FOIA Exemption 6 is relevant to a determination of what redactions are appropriate.  To address these considerations, we are substituting the term 'unnecessary' for the term 'sensitive,' so that the standard for redaction or omission under the final rules is 'unnecessary' health information."

© 2010-2021 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 6
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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm
Partner

Keith Bishop works with privately held and publicly traded companies on federal and state corporate and securities transactions, compliance, and governance matters. He is highly-regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the distinctive corporate and regulatory requirements faced by corporations in the state of California.

While many law firms have a great deal of expertise in federal or Delaware corporate law, Keith’s specific focus on California corporate and securities law is uncommon. A former California state regulator of securities and financial institutions, Keith has decades of...

949-851-5428
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