securities lawyers

Debate Over Mandatory Arbitration Heats Up

The Investor Choice Act, authored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) seeks to bar not only broker-dealers but other corporations from deploying mandatory arbitration agreements. At a recent hearing, the Act met strong opposition from industry groups such as SIFMA as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Tom Quaadman, executive vice president with the Chamber of Commerce, defended the arbitration process as a vital dispute resolution tool that helps clients and advisors alike avoid lengthy and costly litigation.

Legislation Could End Mandatory Arbitration for Securities Disputes

On Friday a ranking Democratic member of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Sherrod Brown, introduced a bill aimed at ending pre-dispute arbitration agreements that have become commonplace in business-to-consumer businesses. The bill, called the Arbitration Fairness for Consumers Act, is specifically focused on student loan and credit card contracts; however, it has enormous implications for the securities industry, in which almost every brokerage contract includes a binding arbitration clause.

Last Year, Energy Stocks Went Bust - Did Your Portfolio Go Bust With Them?

Energy securities once regarded as moderate risk can shift into high or very high risk if the natural resources or benchmarks they’re tied to swing dramatically, as did crude oil prices last year. That means that those oil and gas company stock and bonds your broker recommended or purchased prior to this year may have become unsuitable for you as the fracking boom went bust.

FINRA Has Its Eye on These Financial Products

Last month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published its Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter. While the express purpose of this letter is to advise stock brokers and compliance officers about the focus of the accreditation exams many of them will be taking in 2015, the letter also indirectly puts investors and securities professionals on notice.