Congress has repeatedly expanded the authority of the SEC to pursue violations of securities laws in proceedings adjudicated by the SEC's own administrative law judges, most recently through the Dodd-Frank Act. We report the results from an empirical study of SEC enforcement actions against non-financial public companies to assess the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the balance between civil court and administrative enforcement actions. We show a general decline in the number of court actions and an increase in the number of administrative proceedings post-Dodd-Frank. At the same time, we show an increase in average civil penalties post-Dodd-Frank for both court actions and administrative proceedings involving non-financial public companies. Companies were also more willing to cooperate with the SEC, consistent with an increase in the SEC's leverage in administrative proceedings.
Pritchard, Adam C. Co-author. "The SEC's Shift to Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment." S. J. Choi, co-author. Yale J. Reg. 34, no. 1 (2017): 1-32.