When I am engaged to defend a case, whether it’s a customer arbitration or a regulatory complaint, my clients typically get to the point, sooner or later, where they ask me two questions: (1) what do I think about their chances of winning, and (2) what’s it gonna cost me.  In many matters, the answer

About a month ago, the SEC announced a settlement in a modest little case that has, nevertheless, managed to garner a lot of attention.  This is a result of the fact that one of the respondents was the CCO, i.e., the Chief Compliance Officer, of the co-respondent RIA.  Determining the particular circumstances under which CCOs

Last week I posted a blog about the dangers of not heeding findings made during a regulatory exam, at least findings of clear, undisputable compliance issues that cannot be meaningfully defended. Today I am writing to highlight a corollary rule: if one customer points out the existence of a real problem, again, a clear problem

There is no question in my mind that the quality of FINRA examiners is a bit uneven.  Some are smart and insightful and helpful; others are, well, not.  Most of the time, they do know what they’re talking about.  That means the opportunity to make legitimate arguments against exam findings can, at least sometimes, be

There are certain topics that broker-dealers have been encountering for decades, yet continue unnecessarily to wrestle with due to the absence of clear guidance from the regulators.  I have written about one such topic before, and that’s the fuzzy line between most outside business activities, which RRs are obliged (at a minimum) by rule to

Not too long ago, a single, small BD experienced a bizarre combination of regulatory overzealousness and regulatory indifference, by the SEC and FINRA, respectively.  These things, sadly, happen all the time, but what happened to this unfortunate firm presents an excellent case study in regulators who simply do not wield their considerable prosecutorial discretion in