Nota Bene Episode 164: Navigating the ESG Conundrum with Ray Marshall and Melissa Eaves


In this episode, Sheppard Mullin attorneys Melissa Eaves and Ray Marshall join host Scott Maberry to explore how the best companies in the world are navigating between directly conflicting regulatory guidance on Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives.


What We Discuss in this Episode:

  • What is the SEC doing regarding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing right now?
  • What are state legislatures and Attorneys General doing?
  • How do these enforcement contradict each other, and what should companies do?
  • What should companies be doing to reduce the potential for ESG-related enforcement actions?
  • How does "greenwashing" open the door to civil litigation?
  • What steps should companies and investors take to mitigate risk in this complicated environment?

About Ray Marshall

Ray Marshall is Of Counsel in the Governmental Practice in Sheppard Mullen’s San Francisco office, where his practice focuses on White Collar and Investigations, Fiduciary Duties, and Environmental, Social & Governance issues.

Ray represents clients in both complex business litigation and white-collar defense. He has conducted a wide array of internal investigations and company inquiries, including cases alleging insider trading, stock options backdating, securities fraud, accounting irregularities, antitrust violations, public corruption, FCPA and other corporate and individual wrongdoing. He has represented clients in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings brought by governmental authorities, including the Department of Justice and the offices of various U.S. Attorneys, State Attorneys General and District Attorneys.

In addition to serving on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Judicial Advisory Committee for the Northern District of California, Raymond also serves as an adviser to the American Law Institute on the Model Penal Code Sentencing Project. He is past-President of the ABA Retirement Fund Board of Directors, a past member of the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, and former president of both the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of San Francisco. In 2004 and 2007, he was appointed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George to chair the California Supreme Court’s Advisory Task Force on Multijurisdictional Practice.

In addition to his professional affiliations, Ray is extremely active in community affairs, serving on the boards of the Giffords Law Center, the Equal Justice Society, the United Negro College Fund, and HomeBase/The Center for Common Concerns. In March 2009, he argued on behalf of five of the leading civil rights groups in the country (Asian Pacific American Legal Center, California State Conference of the NAACP, Equal Justice Society, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund) before the California Supreme Court, arguing that allowing Proposition 8 (a proposition which sought to outlaw gay marriage) to stand could be detrimental to other minority groups who could easily become the targets of initiative campaigns seeking to take away their rights.

About Melissa Eaves

Melissa Eaves is Special Counsel in the Governmental Practice in Sheppard Mullen’s Los Angeles office. Melissa currently focuses her practice on complex civil litigation, fraud, investigations white collar criminal defense and False Claims Act litigation. She has substantial experience in compliance investigations, fiduciary counseling, ESG, American with Disabilities Act, FTC, SEC and TVPRA/human trafficking litigation.

Melissa has successfully represented numerous individuals and entities in connection with a wide range of federal and state investigations and prosecutions. In civil litigation, she has successfully represented both clients in both state and federal court.

In addition to complex litigation and white collar defense work, Melissa handles internal investigations for companies. She is an experienced and skilled investigator, handling investigatory matters involving whistleblower claims, harassment and workplace misconduct, criminal misconduct, and healthcare fraud. She has also worked with governmental agencies such as the OIG, DOJ, FTC, SEC, and HHS in connection with such investigations.

Melissa was part of the team that recently won a complete defense victory in a human trafficking case, and she has also obtained complete defense verdicts in trials involving ADA claims. In addition, she has represented the California Insurance Commissioner in the Executive Life Insurance Company, First Capital and Mission Insurance Group insolvencies and reinsurance litigation, involving over 300 reinsurers worldwide, representing recoveries in excess of $1.3 billion. Melissa has substantial litigation experience in both state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, enforcing judgments abroad and supervising of domestic and foreign outside counsel.

About Scott Maberry

As an international trade partner in Governmental Practice, J. Scott Maberry counsels clients on global risk, international trade, and regulation. He is also a past co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group for the Washington D.C. office, serves on the firm's pro bono committee, and is a founding member of the Sheppard Mullin Organizational Integrity Group.

Scott's practice includes representing clients before the U.S. government agencies and international U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS), the Department of Commerce Import Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the International Trade Commission (ITC), and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). He also represents clients in federal court and grand jury proceedings, as well as those pursuing negotiations and dispute resolution under the World Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other multilateral and bilateral agreements.

A member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, Scott also advises the WEF community in the areas of global risk, international trade, artificial intelligence and values.

Contact Information

Melissa Eaves

Raymond Marshall

Scott Maberry


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