Securities and Exchange Commission

James E. Grimes Named Chief ALJ at SEC

We are certain that Judge Grimes will be an excellent Chief ALJ, but we found it interesting, given the fact that the SEC ALJs rule in favor of the SEC in almost all of their cases that the SEC thought that including the word “impartial” in the title “SEC impartial Office of Administrative Law Judge” was necessary.

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that James E. Grimes has been named the agency’s Chief Administrative Law Judge.

Judge Grimes will lead the SEC’s impartial Office of Administrative Law Judges that conducts hearings, issues initial decisions, and adjudicates matters in administrative proceedings before the agency. Judge Grimes succeeds Brenda Murray, who retired after 25 years of service as the SEC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge.

Judge Grimes became an SEC Administrative Law Judge in 2014 after spending 13 years in the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as a trial attorney and a senior litigation counsel representing government agencies and officers before federal district and appellate courts.

He began his career with the Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, where he served as a trial defense counsel defending service members in courts-martial and as an appellate counsel representing the government before military appellate courts.

Judge Grimes graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude in 1992 from Miami University in Ohio, and he graduated with honors from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1995.

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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.

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