Broker Legal Information Center

Featured Books

Securities Law in a Nutshell is an excellent introduction to the United States securities law.

Broker-Dealer Regulation in a Nutshell  is a similar introduction, and while the laws regulating broker-dealers are complex, this book provides an overview of the concepts and regulations.

Investment Adviser Regulation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Compliance and The Law  is an excellent starting point for understanding the regulation of investment advisers.


Featured Articles

Expungement of Customer Complaints The problems associated with FINRA‘s CRD Disclosure System are well known to visitors to SECLaw.com, as we have written about the issue a number of times. The concept of disclosing ...

New York Barred From Appearing Before SEC The Securities and Exchange Commission barred a New York-based attorney from appearing or practicing before it and acting as an officer or director of a public company after finding that he made false and misleading statements in corporate filings. Pursuant to Section 4C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 provides “The Commission may censure any ...

Record SEC Award Expected for JPMorgan Whistleblowers The SEC is expected to present the largest whistleblower award in its history – possibly $70.6 million or more to be shared by two whistleblowers in a case involving a former adviser at JPMorgan Chase – according to a SEC letter released by one of the whistleblowers. The award results from information that led to a ...

Not All Trial Lawyers Can Handle All Kinds Of Trials I am a trial lawyer, a litigator, and have been at it for over 30 years. While I have represented clients at trial, in state and federal courts, most of my trial experience is in securities arbitrations, and virtually all of my work is in the securities area. The point is that while I am ...

Hearing Hearing  Securities arbitrations, in fact, all arbitrations, are conducted in the same manner that a court trial is held, without some of the formalities. There are opening statements, first by the attorney for the claimant (typically a customer) and then by the respondents (the broker and/or his firm). The openings are followed by an introduction of ...

Five-Year Statute of Limitations Applies to Claims for Disgorgement Brought by the SEC The Supreme Court ruled that claims for disgorgement brought by the SEC are governed by a five-year statute of limitations. The Court’s unanimous opinion in Kokesh v. SEC, No. 16-529, slip op. at 5 (U.S. June 5, 2017) (Sotomayor, J.), held that disgorgement, as it is applied in SEC enforcement proceedings, operates ...

Featured Commentary

We represent big producers and teams across the country, and have done so for years. While this article presents an unfair characterization of big producers, it makes a good point. FINRA and the SEC are cracking down and firms are looking to maximize profits (which sometimes means getting rid of brokers). None of that is good for brokers, and the  top teams are not immune from the problems...
John Crudele at the NY Post recently penned a column...

For the past two years we have been investigating investor claims regarding principal protection notes and the litigation and arbitrations that have followed. Millions of dollars have been lost in these notes...

In my view of the world, a broker has no duty to research or consider areas that are outside of their area of expertise, and tax implications of an investment are one of those areas. Excluding tax motivated investments, where the tax considerations  are the basis for the recommendation, it is the realm of tax attorneys and accountants to consider such issues, not brokers and advisers...
It never ceases to amaze me that Bank of America has managed to stay in business. Personally, I always thought they were a terrible bank, with terrible rates, annoying terms and conditions, and really annoying marketing. As a brokerage firm, they have simply bumbled and stumbled their way through the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, turning a unique opportunity into a disaster...

Introductory Materials

Introduction to the Federal Securities Laws – written by securities lawyer Mark Astarita, an overview of the federal regulatory scheme for the financial markets. Written for the non-lawyer, with links to more detailed information

Introduction to the Blue Sky Laws (State Securities Laws) – In addition to the Federal Securities Laws, each state has its own securities laws. Those laws vary from state to state, and require registration or notification of securities offerings, and registration of brokers and brokerage firms. Each state has a regulatory agency which administers the law, typically known as the state Securities Commissioner. This introduction provides an overview of the regulatory scheme. A list of state securities commissioners, and their addresses, is available in our Guide to State Securities Regulators.

Introduction to Securities Arbitration – In general, and in the securities industry, a party cannot be compelled to arbitrate a dispute unless he has contractually bound himself to do so. Registered representatives and their firms are contractually bound to arbitrate their disputes with their customers, even in the absence of a written contract with the customer. The contractual obligation arises, not from a customer agreement, but their registration with FINRA. For customers and financial professionals, an introduction to the process, from start to finish.

Introduction to the Initial Public Offering Process – in the Corporate Finance section, an introduction to the public offering process

Introduction to Private Placements – in addition to public offerings, many companies raise money by selling securities in a private offering. There are many restrictions and caveats to the process.

Introduction to Insider Trading – there is legal insider trading, and illegal insider trading. When investors, regardless of their relationship to the company, trade on material, non-public information, there is a risk that the trading is illegal.

Registration of Investment Advisors – one of our featured articles, an introduction to becoming an investment adviser and what you need to know to start an advisory firm

Guide to Broker-Dealer Registration an updated version of the SEC’s original guide is now online.


Amazon.com makes it easy to order books online, and we have compiled what we believe to be the most useful books for the brokerage legal and compliance officer in the Compliance and Law Department at the SECLaw.com Bookstore.

The Law of Securities Regulation – from West Publishing, an excellent introduction and overview of the securities laws. This is a “hornbook”, books written for law students to introduce a new subject. Excellent reference material for layman, compliance officer or an attorney seeking an introduction to the subject. With full citations, attorneys can quickly locate the major cases on a particular topic and obtain additional information.

Securities Regulation in a Nutshell (6th ED) – This book summarizes the essential background and current status of each major area, while keeping details and citations to a minimum. It includes references to the relevant statutes, SEC rules and releases, and other governmental materials, as well as to “leading cases.”



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Mark Astarita