Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense and Internal Investigations practice, and Nicholas Karwacki, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discuss insider trading in The Legal Intelligencer. The Supreme Court heard oral argument last month in Salman v. United States, a case that requires the court to define the scope of the federal insider-trading law. Under the court's prior precedent, a stock tip becomes "insider trading" if an insider personally benefitted by providing information to another. But what sort, and how much, "personal benefit" must be shown? The government, seeking an enlargement of the statute's scope, argues that an individual benefits personally by improving the relationship with her friends or family — in other words, an abstract benefit. By contrast, defense counsel in Salman maintains that an individual benefits only when she receives a tangible, quid pro quo benefit in return.
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