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

SEC Subpoenas – Tips for Responding How you respond to an SEC subpoena makes a difference. Tips from an experienced securities attorney.

UBS YES Losses? Investors who lost money in UBS’ Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) may be able to recover their losses

Recover GPB Capital Losses After inquiries by the SEC, FINRA and the FBI, GPB Capital has announced significant losses in the value of its investment funds.  Two of its funds, GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive Portfolio, have reported losses of 25.4% and 39%, respectively according to InvestmentNews.com GPB Capital Holdings is a New York based alternative asset management firm with approximately ...

SDNY Defines Customer under FINRA Rule 12200 Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York has issued a decision defining a customer, for purposes of FINRA Rule 12200 as being a person or entity who have an account with the member, or who has purchased goods and services from the member. In doing so, it orders some claims in the ...

GPB Capital Investigations Heat Up With losses approaching 70% for some investors, sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the funds to turn around is apparently not working for investors in the GPB Capital funds, and the situation is not getting better. While investors are filing arbitrations to recover their losses in GPB Capital, and investigations pending by the SEC and FINRA, ...

UBS Ordered to Pay Broker $1.6 Million A former star broker for UBS Financial Services Inc. who was repeatedly called a “bitch” by her boss won a $1.6 million discrimination arbitration award last month. According to InvestmentNews.com, the broker, Chrisine Carona, worked for UBS in Boston from March 2009 through July 2017 and currently is employed by Morgan Stanley. She was the top performing female adviser ...

Broker Recruiting Protocol Question When changing firms, and moving between two firms that are part of the Broker Recruiting Protocol, can the broker take client account numbers with her. We get that question a lot. Under the Protocol a broker may take only the client name, address, phone number, email address, and account title of the clients that she serviced ...

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 600 securities arbitration cases. Since securities arbitration is such ...

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 ...

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 Introduction The history of the securities regulation and federal securities law are well beyond the scope of this work, and the reader is commended to any ...

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 (Provision of Information and Testimony and Inspection and Copying of Books) is the starting point of virtually every FINRA Wells Notice and enforcement ...

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.