Investor Advocates Call on FINRA to Immediately Stop the Expungement of Customer Complaints

The Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association (known as PIABA) is a nationwide association of attorneys who advocate for investors through litigation and arbitration and regulatory reform. In a report prepared by The PIABA Foundation, titled 2019 Study on FINRA Expungements, A Seriously Flawed Process that Should be Stopped Immediately to Protect the Integrity of the Public Record, PIABA called upon … Read More

Investment Adviser Permanently Barred over Conflicts of Interest, Failure to Disclose, and Violation of Best Execution Rules

I previously wrote about the SEC’s increased emphasis on the enforcement of an investment advisor’s obligation to provide its customers with the “best execution” of recommended securities trades. See SEC Announces Results of Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative (March 19, 2019). A recent court decision, from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, illustrates the serious consequences that can result from … Read More

Raleigh Investment Adviser Stephen Condon Peters Sentenced to 40 Years In Prison for Operating a Ponzi Sheme

Stephen Condon Peters, a Raleigh investment advisor, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty following a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. In sentencing Peters, he presiding judge, James C. Dever, III, noted Peters’ lengthy and systematic scheme involving theft of clients’ money, obstructing an investigation by … Read More

State Attorneys General Sue the SEC to Nullify Regulation Best Interest

On September 9, 2019, seven states and the District of Columbia sued the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to invalidate Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct (“Regulation BI”). The Attorneys General of California, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, New Mexico, and Oregon alleged in their complaint that Regulation BI: undermines critical consumer protections … Read More

The North Carolina Supreme Court’s Piazza v. Kirkbride Decision Fails to Resolve Important Issues under State Securities Act

On May 10, 2019, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its opinion in Piazza v. Kirkbride. See Piazza v. Kirkbride, 827 S.E.2d 479 (2019). The Court declined to resolve important issues under the North Carolina Securities Act, instead ruling that defendant Gregory Brannon had failed to properly preserve his challenge to the trial court’s jury instructions. In the trial court … Read More

FINRA Reminds Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers to Comply with the SEC’s “Best Interest” Requirements

FINRA Reminds Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers to Comply with the SEC’s “Best Interest” Requirements On June 5, 2019, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued Release No. 34-86031, titled Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct (“Regulation BI”), which provides for a best interest standard applicable to broker-dealers. The same day, the SEC issued Release No. IA-5248, titled … Read More

The FINRA Arbitration Proceess

The FINRA Arbitration Process Almost all disputes involving securities brokers and their customers are resolved by arbitration under a process administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).  FINRA was created on July 30, 2007, through the merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. and the New York Stock Exchange. FINRA is the largest non-governmental regulator of securities … Read More

Andrew Whiteman Assists Securities Law Clinics with Amicus Brief Filing

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Andrew Whiteman Assists Securities Law Clinics with Amicus Brief Filing On April 19, 2019, Andrew Whiteman filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of three law school law clinics: University of Miami School of Law Investor Rights Clinic, Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University Investor Rights Clinic, … Read More

FINRA Requires Brokerage Firms to Communicate with Customers when a Broker Leaves the Firm

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Ask questions if your broker leaves his firm. According to new regulatory guidance from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, known as FINRA, member firms are required to do the following: In the event of a registered representative’s departure, the member firm should promptly and clearly communicate to affected customers how their accounts will continue to be serviced; and The firm … Read More