Financial Adviser 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.


Recent Blog Posts

NASAA Objects to Finder Change

From JD Supra’s post from the California Corporate and Securities Law Blog: The North American Securities Administrators Association issued a comment letter urging the Securities and Exchange Commission not to move forward on its proposal to issue a conditional order exempting finders from the requirement to register as brokers.  The SEC had proposed the order as a means “to assist small businesses ...

SEC Claims Wells Fargo Executives Misled Investors

The SEC filed a complaint in federal court charging former Wells Fargo & Co. CEO and Chairman John G. Stumpf and former head of Wells Fargo’s Community Bank Carrie L. Tolstedt for their roles in allegedly misleading investors about the success of the Community Bank, Wells Fargo’s core business. Prior Settlements The SEC’s filings include settled charges ...

Firm Fined For Lax Text Message Storage

Broker-dealers are required to store and preserve all communications sent and received by their brokers for a period of three years pursuant to Section 17(a) and Rule 17a4 of the Exchange Act. That requirement includes text messages, as one firm recently learned the hard way. The SEC instituted administrative proceedings against a California firm ...

Whistleblower Award for New Analysis, Not New Information

Whistleblower awards are typically given to individuals who provide new information or leads to the SEC which results in significant sanctions. In November, the SEC has announced an award of over $1.1 million to a whistleblower who did not provide new information for an investigation, but rather provided independent analysis which led the staff to ...

SEC Charges Firms in Connection with Sales of Complex Exchange-Traded Products

The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed settled actions against three investment advisory firms and two dually-registered broker-dealer and advisory firms for violations that related to unsuitable sales of complex exchange-traded products to… Read the Full Press Release Have a securities law question? Call Sallah Astarita & Cox at 212-509-6544. from SECLaw.com

Featured Articles

Customer Claims in Arbitration

I have been representing customers and brokers in securities arbitration matters since 1982. In those 35 years I have handled over 700 securities arbitration cases. Since securities arbitration is such ...

Expungement of Customer Complaints

You can remove derogatory reports from your CRD Report. Call 212-509-6544 to discuss the process with a securities law attorney. The problems associated with FINRA‘s CRD Disclosure System are well known ...

Insider Trading – The Legal and Illegal

Illegal insider trading is a serious securities law violation which carries potential civil and criminal penalties. Civilly, the penalties can be as large as three times the gross profit on ...

Introduction to State Securities (Blue Sky) Laws

Mark Astarita, Esq. is a nationally recognized securities attorney who represents investors, financial professionals, issuers and financial firms in a wide variety of matters involving federal and state securities laws. ...

Federal Securities Law, a Securities Lawyer Guide

The SEC, FINRA, the States, and much more Mark J. Astarita is a nationally known securities attorney with over 30 years of experience representing investors and financial professionals across the country ...

Securities Arbitration Hearing Overview

 Just What Happens at an Arbitration? By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. Past columns have touched on arbitration hearings, and have raised the question just what happens during an arbitration hearing. It seems ...

Finders Explained – Be Careful

  A question I am often asked is what is the definition of a finder, or questions that lead to that question. The issue arises when an unregistered person or entity ...

Cold Calling Rules

Compliance with securities regulations is only the beginning By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. Introduction Cold calling is a method of marketing a service or product by calling prospective clients “cold” – that is, ...

Churned or Traded?

Mark J. Astarita is a nationally known securities attorney who represents investors and financial professionals in arbitration, compliance and regulatory matters. If you have a question, email him at mja@sallahlaw.com. Churning ...

Responding to an 8210 Request

By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. FINRA Rule 8210 FINRA Rule 8210 (Provision of Information and Testimony and Inspection and Copying of Books) is the starting point of virtually every FINRA Wells Notice ...

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.