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O'Donnell, Michael J

Name:O'Donnell, Michael J
Practice In: Business Law ,Estate ,Estate Planning ,Real Estate
Law Firm: Markowitz Gravelle, LLP
Location:3131 Princeton Pike Suite 200 Building 3D
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Fax: 609-896-3184

Paul R. Eckert is a partner in the firm's Securities Department, and a member of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Practice Group. He joined the firm in 1995. Mr. Eckert's practice focuses on securities enforcement matters, securities litigation and regulatory compliance counseling.


Mr. Eckert has represented corporations, financial institutions and individuals under investigation by the SEC, the DOJ, the Securities SROs, and state attorneys general and securities administrators in a variety of matters involving novel issues under federal and state securities laws. He has advised clients in connection with their responses to regulators, mitigation of violations, and development of policies and procedures designed to ensure prospective compliance with applicable rules and regulations. He also has conducted internal corporate investigations of potential violations of the federal securities laws.

From 1989 through 1993, Mr. Eckert served as a US Navy Lieutenant onboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1). In 2006–2007, he served as an Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to former President George W. Bush.

Recent Highlights

Mr. Eckert's engagements have included:

  • Representation of broker-dealers, investment advisers and their associated persons in connection with investigations of IPO allocation practices; research analyst conflicts of interest, SRO conflict disclosures and Regulation AC; mutual fund trading practices; proxy voting practices; information barriers; fair pricing and mark-ups; trade reporting obligations; registration and licensing; personal trading practices; sales practices; and the adequacy of supervision
  • Representation of public companies in connection with investigations of a variety of accounting issues, including merger and purchase accounting reserves; goodwill and long-term asset impairment issues; extraordinary and other one-time charges; the use of special purpose entities and other off-balance sheet arrangements; revenue recognition practices in a variety of contexts; the adequacy of internal accounting and disclosure controls; expense capitalization practices; and auditor independence
  • Representation of public companies and their officers and directors in connection with investigations of disclosure practices concerning executive and director compensation, perquisites and related party transactions; compliance with line-item disclosure requirements; the issuance of earnings and other forward-looking guidance; and Regulation FD compliance
  • Representation of public companies, their officers and directors, and underwriters in securities actions alleging violations of federal and state securities laws

Professional Activities

Mr. Eckert has been a guest lecturer on emerging issues in securities enforcement matters and writes regularly on securities law topics:

  • "FINRA Now Authorized to Seek SARs Materials from Member Broker-Dealers," WilmerHale Email Alert (February 24, 2012).  
  • "SEC Proposes Bad Actor Disqualification to Popular Private Placement Safe Harbor," WilmerHale Email Alert (June 2, 2011).  
  • "SEC Approves Sweeping Changes to FINRA's Regulatory Reporting Rules," with Yoon-Young Lee, Bruce Newman, Harry Weiss and Claire Hanselmann, 12 J. invest. Comp. 1 (2011).
  • "SEC To Review Performance of Boards in Financial Crisis," WilmerHale Email Alert (March 11, 2009).
  • "Nine Years After—SEC Approves NASD Mark-Up Guidance for Debt Securities," WilmerHale Email Alert (April 25, 2007).
  • "NASD Amends Proposed Debt Mark Policy To Exclude Certain Transactions with Institutional Customers," WilmerHale Briefing Series (November 22, 2006).
  • "NASD Expands Broker-Dealer's Duty of Best Execution," WilmerHale Email Alert (September 12, 2006).
  • Sarbanes-Oxley and the SEC's Enforcement Program "The Practitioner's Guide to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," with William R. McLucas (ABA Press 2004).
  • "Revised Auditor Independence Rules," with William R. McLucas, 56 Bus. Law. 877 (2001).
  • "The Battle Over Auditor Independence and the SEC's Recent Rule Proposal," with William McLucas, 1213 PLI/Corp. 459 (2000).

    Honors and Awards

    Mr. Eckert was the recipient of the Lawrence W. l'Anson Prize.

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      3131 Princeton Pike Suite 200 Building 3D
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      Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
    • Obler, Robert Alan
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