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

  • FINRA Reverses Hearing Panel Decision and Dismisses Complaint against Sallah Astarita & Cox client.
    In an unusual reversal and dismissal, Mark Astarita of Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC obtained a full reversal of a Hearing Panel decision in an enforcement proceeding which barred his client for life and ordered him to pay $250,000 in restitution, plus 6 years of interest. The case, which was filed by FINRA Enforcement only ...
  • SEC Issues Agenda for Sept. 27 Meeting of the Asset Management Advisory Committee
    (function($) { $(document).ready(function() { $(“.submitcommentslink”).click(function(e) { e.preventDefault(); $(“.comment-form”).submit(); }); $(‘.panel-col-last h2.pagelet’).replaceWith(function () {… Read the Full Press Release Have a securities law question? Call Sallah Astarita & Cox at 212-509-6544. The Securities Law Blog is a service of, and Mark Astarita, a national securities lawyer with the law firm of Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC * ...
  • Changing Dynamics Pre-IPO and Going Public on the Agenda for the SEC’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee
    The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee will meet virtually on Monday, Sept. 27 to explore the changing dynamics for pre-IPO companies raising capital and the pathways those companies take to becoming… Read the Full Press Release Have a securities law question? Call Sallah Astarita & Cox at 212-509-6544. The Securities Law Blog ...
  • CoinBase Cancels Proposed Lending Program after SEC Scrutiny
     As we posted last week, CoinBase’s proposed lending program, where its customers would be able to use cryptocurrency to make loans to third parties raised objections from the SEC. Coinbase objected to the objections in a public statement, claiming it didn’t know what the problem was. There isn’t much public information available about the program, but ...
  • SEC Charges Puerto Rican Company and Managing Members with Fraud
    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Puerto Rico-based Back to Green Mining LLC and its two managing members, José Jiménez Cruz and Manuel Portalatin, for their participation in a fraudulent and unregistered offering in… Read the Full Press Release Have a securities law question? Call Sallah Astarita & Cox at 212-509-6544. The Securities Law ...
  • Fraud Charges For Crowdfunding Portal, Issuer, and Related Individuals
    It didn’t take long for the SEC to bring fraud charges in the crowdfuning space. Today the SEC charged three individuals and one issuer with conducting a fraudulent scheme to sell nearly $2 million of unregistered securities through two crowdfunding offerings. The SEC also charged the registered funding portal and its CEO, who placed the ...

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.