Financial Advisor Legal Information Center

Featured Books

Securities Litigation and Enforcement in a Nutshell – The 2nd edition of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Nutshell focuses on an area of law that burgeoned nearly two decades ago after the accounting and corporate governance scandals at Enron, WorldCom, and other large publicly traded companies. It is an area of law that has only continued to expand with the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent legislation, including the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and the JOBS Act of 2012 and several recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Nutshell examines private, SEC, and criminal enforcement of federal securities laws, with an emphasis on the elements that establish securities fraud and the doctrinal and practical issues that typically emerge in prosecuting or defending such claims.

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 Articles

What Does a Securities Lawyer Do?

Mark J. Astarita, Esq. is a nationally recognized securities attorney, representing clients in securities investigations, arbitrations and litigation matters across the country. You can contact him at 212-509-6544 or by email at Securities law is a specialized field of law encompassing various types of securities lawyers. Transactional securities lawyers assist companies with capital raising, stock ...

9 Proven Strategies for Defending an SEC Investigation

Defending an SEC Investigation Facing an SEC investigation can be intimidating for individuals or organizations, and defending against it requires expertise and insight. The SEC is a powerful regulatory entity that can thoroughly examine the financial operations of issuers, funds, and advisors. This article explores nine strategic methods to effectively defend against an SEC investigation. These ...

New AML Rules for Investment Advisers

On May 13, 2024, the SEC and the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) jointly issued a proposed rule (the Proposal) that, if adopted, would impose new anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance obligations on registered investment advisers (RIAs) and exempt reporting advisers (ERAs). The Proposal generally mandates ...

SEC Releases Comprehensive Investment Adviser Statistics Report

May 15, 2024 — The SEC staff has released a new report on Investment Adviser Statistics. This report, based on aggregated data filed by investment advisers on Form ADV, will be updated annually. It provides the public with valuable insights into the investment advisory industry, covering aspects such as business activities, client composition, and the ...

Exploring the Future of Asset Management: Insights from the SEC’s Upcoming Conference

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management is gearing up to host its much-anticipated second annual Conference on Emerging Trends in Asset Management. Scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2024, this event promises to be a cornerstone for professionals from various sectors within the asset management industry, including regulators and academics, to explore and ...

JP Morgan SEC Violation: Confidential Agreements Impede Client Communications

Washington D.C., Jan. 16, 2024 – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against J.P. Morgan Securities LLC  for their alleged hindrance of clients from reporting potential securities law violations. SEC Charges J.P. Morgan The SEC has officially charged J.P. Morgan with impeding numerous advisory clients and brokerage customers from reporting potential securities law violations. ...

Forms in Need of Reform

Proposed NASD Rules Will Allow Allegations Against Brokers to be Made Public By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. Note: This column was originally published in 1997 in Research Magazine. Unfortunately, nothing changed, and in fact, the situation has gotten worse. If you have questions about your U-4 or U-5 filings, please contact me at Background on Proposed Changes Some ...

Still Think Settling with the SEC is the Right Move?

By: Mark J. Astarita, Esq. In the article linked below, the authors believe that the landscape of SEC enforcement is changing. According to this article, entities and individuals facing SEC actions are winning, or not losing as much. Of course, the examples in the article are purely anecdotal, and there are no real statistics to prove ...

Defending FINRA Investigations

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 enforcement proceeding, as it gives FINRA the authority to request documents and testimony from firms, registered persons and, in FINRA’s view, other persons and entities related to ...

SEC 2024 Examination Priorities for Broker-Dealers

The SEC‘s Division of Examinations prioritizes examinations of certain practices, products, and services that it believes present potentially heightened risks to investors or the integrity of the U.S. capital markets. They have announced the 2024 examination priorities. Here is a summary of the Broker-Dealer priorities for 2024. We summarized the priorities for Investment Advisors, here. Broker-dealers are ...

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 that 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 from 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 with 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.


Securities Attorney at Sallah Astarita & Cox | 212-509-6544 | | Website | + posts

Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.

He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page -, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.