Tell us about your practice.
My practice is focused on the representation of broker-dealers, financial institutions, investment advisors and their agents. Over the years, our Broker-Dealer & Financial Products Practice Group has served a diverse client base ranging from smaller, independent contractor broker-dealers to larger, regional and wire house firms. While the bulk of my practice is spent defending customer and employment-related cases in arbitration proceedings across the country, I also have defended clients in multiple federal and state court proceedings, before several courts of appeal, and before federal and state regulatory agencies. I also regularly consult with clients on recruiting, employment, compliance, and a host of other issues.
In October 2014 you were named to the Editorial Board of the Securities Litigation Commentator. Explain your role on the board of the publication and discuss any trends you see related to this industry.
As a Senior Contributing Editor of Securities Litigation Commentator, I provide case summaries, observations and commentary on court decisions impacting the financial services industry for a weekly online newsletter (SLC Online) that is distributed across the nation to persons interested in matters that shape the industry. The material also is maintained in a searchable database through SLC’s website. Today, the move to a fiduciary standard for broker-dealers seems to be inevitable and will significantly increase our clients’ exposure to customer suits. While firms are preparing for that standard, they also are being challenged to keep up with the pace of technology, protect client data against cyber-attacks, and develop policies and procedures allowing them to operate profitably in an environment of increased regulatory scrutiny and increased client demands for transparency, stellar service and winning investment strategies. We are currently seeing much more regulatory work as our clients struggle with the burdens of increased regulatory oversight.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?
Together, my wife and I are blessed with six children, three of whom are in college with another starting in the fall. At their age, I had no clear idea what I wanted to do. I felt a law degree would present numerous opportunities, and was fortunate during the summers after my first and second years of law school to work on several broker-dealer matters with Shep Tate. I greatly enjoyed the challenges presented by that type of work, and continue to enjoy them 23 years later.