According to the Wall Street Journal, "[s]ince Mary Jo White became SEC chairman in April 2013, the median time for the agency to decide appeals of its in-house judges’ decisions has increased to 19 months."
That is almost double the median times under her two main predecessors, Christopher Cox and Mary Schapiro.
Critics—including former SEC officials, business groups and defense lawyers—said the SEC’s approach means defendants often lose both ways. The trial portion of the civil case moves much more quickly than such matters typically would in federal court, giving limited time to prepare for trial, and defendants then can wait years for the SEC to decide appeals.This is an outrage. The SEC spends years investigating, taking depositions, serving subpoenaes and "investigating." When they decide to file a case, the Commission decides to file the case, approves the charges and the language of the complaint, appoints the prosecutors, and appoints the judge to hold a trial.
The Respondents cannot take any depositions, nor can they serve any subpoenas, the trial is conducted on an expedited basis, pursuant to rules written by the Commission which are heavily biased in favor of the Commission's prosecutors.
After the Commission appointed judge finds the Respondents guilty, the Respondents have to appeal to the Commission! Yes, you appeal to the very same panel who decided to bring charges against you, and they then take their time in deciding the appeal - for two years.
SEC Appeals Process on the Slow Track