Daily Briefs

ABA Business Law Section releases white paper on digital assets and crypto-currencies

The American Bar Association Business Law Section today published a nearly 300-page White Paper on “Digital and Digitized Assets: Federal and State Jurisdictional Issues.” This first of its kind white paper, drafted by the section’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee, provides a comprehensive survey of the regulation of crypto-currencies and other digital assets at both the federal and state levels.

The white paper provides:

• Background on digital and blockchain technologies;

• Analysis of the application of the Commodity Exchange Act and federal securities laws to transactions in digital assets and crypto-currencies;

• Analysis of the current positions and recent enforcement actions of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in this area;

• Analysis of the legal processes available to the CFTC and SEC to resolve the problematic issues arising from their overlapping and potentially conflicting authority;

• Analysis of the role and positions of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department;

• A survey of state laws regulating transactions in digital assets and crypto-currencies; and

• A survey of approaches that other countries have taken to regulating these products.

The white paper was prepared by members of the Working Group of the Innovative Digitized Products and Processes Subcommittee of the ABA’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee with the goal of providing a resource and analytical framework for considering, among others, potential issues of jurisdictional overlap between the CFTC and SEC. It is hoped that the white paper will prove to be a valuable resource for legal practitioners and others who are active in the digital asset arena, as well as for policy makers.


Court reinstates assault lawsuits against lawyer Mike Morse

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has overturned key rulings and reinstated lawsuits against a popular personal-injury lawyer who is accused of sexually assaulting two women who worked at his Detroit-area firm.

Judges in Oakland and Wayne counties had said the claims against Mike Morse needed to be handled privately through an arbitration process. But the appeals court says an arbitration clause for employees at Morse’s firm doesn’t fit these cases.

Morse is accused of grabbing the breasts of a paralegal and a receptionist in separate incidents. He denies the allegations.

The court says sending the complaints to arbitration “would effectively perpetuate a culture that silences victims of sexual assault and allows abusers to quietly settle these claims behind an arbitrator’s closed door.” Judges Kathleen Jensen and Jane Beckering were in the 2-1 majority.

Judge Colleen O’Brien disagreed.


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