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    Legal 

    The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for all legal matters involving the AICPA. The OGC provides legal advice to AICPA committees, service and staff task forces as appropriate, interpret and write legislation, interface and provide support for Washington lobbying activities, and draft and edit briefs filed by the AICPA.

    Please see below for our two most recent amicus curiae briefs.

    January 6, 2014 

    Brief of the AICPA as Amicus Curiae in Support of Halliburton Co. and David Lesar Petitioners

    Although no member of the AICPA is a party to this case, issues surrounding this Court’s decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), and its fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance have a distinct impact on and are of paramount importance to the AICPA and its membership.  Accounting firms are frequently named as defendants in securities fraud cases.  While securities suits against non-issuers decreased in the years immediately following this Court’s decision in Central Bank of Denver, N.A. v. First Interstate Bank of Denver, N.A., 511 U.S. 164 (1994), and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PSLRA”), securities class actions against accounting firms remain commonplace. 

    October 3, 2013 

    Brief of the AICPA as Amicus Curiae in Support of the Defendance-Appellee KPMG LLP and Affirmance

    Because of its role in formulating standards relating to audits, reviews, compilations, and attest engagements, and the reports issued thereon, the AICPA maintains a strong interest in both the professional knowledge and skills that accounting professionals are generally epected to possess, and the standards relevant to the work that accounting professionals typically perform, including entry-level personnel. Many of the Institute's members are employed by, or are partners at, firms similar to KPMG. The AICPA regularly submits amicus briefs in actions concerning its members in state and federal courts, including this Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Counsel for both Appellants and Appellee have consented to the filing of this amicus brief.

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    Halliburton Co. and David Lesar v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.

    Legal Brief Brief of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners.
    Published on January 09, 2014

    Brief of the AICPA as Amicus Curiae in Support of the Defendant-Appellee KPMG LLP and Affirmance

    Legal Brief The AICPA submitted this amicus brief in support of the Defendant-Appellee KPMG LLP.
    Published on December 30, 2013

    Jury Verdict Against KPMG for Negligent Misrepresentations in Audit Report

    Article Failure to detect misstatements in financial statements result in a $38.8M jury verdict in the Cast Art Industries, LLC vs. KPMG LLP case.
    Published on May 03, 2013

    Potts v. SEC

    Legal Brief Brief of amicus curiae for the AICPA in support of the petition of Robert D. Potts. The SEC sanctioned Potts for ""improper professional conduct"" in performing duties as a concurring reviewer during an audit of certain financial statements in 1988 and 1989.
    Published on April 02, 2013

    Erica John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co.

    Legal Brief The AICPA, on behalf of its members, has a keen interest in assuring that its members and their firms, as well as all others involved in the financial reporting process, are able to raise, and have considered before the class certification decision is made, challenges to the underlying assumptions required for
    Published on April 22, 2011

    Cast Art Industries, LLC Scott Sherman Gary Barsellotti and Frank Colapinto vs. KPMG LLP John Quinn John Shaw Ed Lazor F...

    Legal Brief A substantial jury verdict of $31.8 million was entered against KPMG in this case which was brought in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County.  Plaintiffs, which included Cast Art Industries, LLC (“Cast Art”) and its shareholders, brought suit against KPMG, as an auditor, for failing to detect fraudulent misstatements
    Published on October 04, 2010

    American Bar Association vs. Federal Trade Commission

    Legal Brief The AICPA has a direct interest in the outcome of this litigation. The AICPA’s members, like attorneys, are engaged in a professional practice. Also,   like attorneys, certified public accountants typically engage in invoiced billing of their clients, allowing their clients to pay for such services after
    Published on September 30, 2010

    Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana vs. PwC and Marc Kirschner vs. KPMG, et al

    Legal Brief The Appellants in both cases seek to eviscerate – if not eliminate altogether – the imputation doctrine and the related defense of in pari delicto, long available to auditors and other professionals as a vital protection against claims asserted by or on behalf of companies whose senior managers intentionally defrauded
    Published on September 14, 2010

    Williamson v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

    Legal Brief Neither the Institute nor the New York State Society has an interest in the particular dispute between these litigants.  However, because of their (1) extensive understanding of the accounting profession and, in particular, the role of an independent auditor, and (2) commitment to the public interest, the Institute and State Society are gravely concerned about the lower
    Published on May 03, 2010

    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services

    Legal Brief The AICPA and the NJSCPAs respectfully submit this brief as amici curiae in support of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's Motion to Dismiss.  Amici request that the motion to dismiss be granted because permitting the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services' claim against PwC would alter the existing standards of an accountant's
    Published on April 26, 2010

    Massachusetts Society of CPAs & AICPA in Support of KPMG Re Nycal

    Legal Brief Massachusetts Society of CPAs & AICPA in Support of KPMG Re: Nycal
    Published on April 14, 2010

    T. Jeffrey Simpson and California State Teachers Retirement System v. Homestore.Com, Inc.

    Legal Brief The Supreme Court’s decision in Central Bank holding that there is no private right of action for aiding and abetting a violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5, is of tremendous importance to the
    Published on April 14, 2010

    Tellabs Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd.

    Legal Brief The present case concerns the pleadings standards established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA). In the PSLRA, Congress required securities-fraud plaintiffs to plead particularized facts leading to a "strong inference" that each defendant acted, or failed to act, with the requisite "scienter" - the culpable mental state
    Published on April 14, 2010

    Grant Thornton LLP v. Prospect High Income Fund

    Legal Brief Because of their (1) extensive understanding of the accounting profession and, in particular, the role of an independent auditor, and (2) commitment to the public interest, the Texas Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs are deeply concerned about the court of appeals' decision in this case inasmuch as it threatens
    Published on April 14, 2010

    Grafton Partners L.P. v. The Superior Court of Alameda County, Respondent, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Real Party in Int...

    Legal Brief This brief addresses the issue presented for review:  whether predispute jury waivers - i.e., provisions in contracts in which the parties agree to advance not to demand a jury trial in any action that may arise out of their contract - are enforceable between commercial parties in civil actions under California law.
    Published on April 09, 2010

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