United States: Duane Morris LLP Announces Formation of Stock Options/Incentive Compensation Task Force
Last Updated: August 3 2006

Multidisciplinary Task Force Provides Public Companies and Their Advisors with Streamlined Approach to Addressing Stock Compensation Issues

PHILADELPHIA, July 31, 2006 - The practice of granting and exercising stock options and other stock-based incentives and the complex issues surrounding these practices are front-page news almost every day.

In view of numerous reports concerning whether stock options were "backdated" or companies engaged in "spring-loading," as well as recent indictments, analysts estimate that thousands of publicly traded companies may have engaged in improper or incomplete option granting and dating practices.

In response, Duane Morris LLP, an international law firm with more than 600 lawyers, has formally organized its attorneys who are currently representing companies and boards in these investigations into a Stock Options Task Force. This Task Force, composed of attorneys from various practice areas and geographic locations, will continue its work with public companies in stock option issues, including internal and SEC investigations, securities filings and restatements, tax, accounting and Sarbanes-Oxley issues.

The Task Force is co-chaired by the following partners: litigation partner Karen S. Crawford (San Diego), who headed the Duane Morris investigation of Fannie Mae on behalf of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and corporate partner Charles Harrell (Houston).

Other Task Force members include corporate partner David Kaufman in Chicago, employee benefits partner Michael Gradisek in Philadelphia, tax partner Victor Keen in Philadelphia, litigation partner Anthony Costantini in New York, trial partner Michael Mustokoff in Philadelphia, and corporate partners Blake Allen in San Diego and Shelton Vaughan in Houston. The Task Force includes attorneys with extensive experience representing companies, boards of directors and special committees in connection with SEC inquiries and investigations, securities offerings and compliance, financial restatements, internal controls, corporate governance, tax, criminal law and procedure, and shareholder litigation.

Duane Morris Chairman Sheldon Bonovitz noted, "Since it has now been estimated that at least 2,000 publicly traded companies may have engaged in questionable options practices, all public companies should, and may even have fiduciary duties to, carefully examine their past and current stock option practices. In particular, tech companies and healthcare companies face special issues regarding option grant practices, and we bring significant experience to bear in these areas. Our seasoned lawyers and professionals work closely with companies and board committees using a multidisciplinary approach that is comprehensive, yet cost-effective, to address these challenging issues."

For more information, contact the Task Force co-chairs or any of the Duane Morris partners listed below.


Karen Crawford, San Diego
Charles Harrell, Houston


John Horstmann, Philadelphia
David Kaufman, Chicago

Employee Benefits & Compensation:

Lawrence Davidson, Chicago
Michael Gradisek, Philadelphia


William Casey, San Francisco

Securities Litigation:

Robert P. Bramnik, Chicago
Aegis J. Frumento, New York
Loren Schechter, New York
John Soroko, Philadelphia


Victor Keen, Philadelphia


Anthony Costantini, New York

White Collar Criminal Defense:

Joseph J. Aronica, Washington, D.C.
Michael Mustokoff, Philadelphia

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