U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff twice rejected the Securities and Exchange Commission's $33 million settlement with Bank of America. While it might be becoming a trying experience for the SEC, governance experts said the case will give the agency greater power in future settlements. "It is absolutely appropriate for a judge to question the amount and the context of a settlement," said Hillary Sale, a professor at Washington University's School of Law. "In theory, this increases the SEC's negotiating power. The SEC can say, 'We can't settle because the courts won't let us.' "
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