I generally get calls each week from folks seeking guidance on when to engage a lawyer to represent them in connection with an investigation or examination by a state securities commissioner, FINRA or the SEC, as well as asking whether they need counsel in these matters. I know that many occasional readers of BDLawBlog have these same questions, so I decided to do a post or two on this topic to give readers some items to think about. In today's post, I'll answer the second question first: do you need an lawyer?
As a former enforcement lawyer, I observed many folks who opted not to engage counsel and instead wanted to handle matters themselves. While there is nothing wrong with that, I observed many of these folks make critical mistakes in their case, resulting in resolutions that were not as favorable to them as they might have received had they engaged legal counsel to represent them. For a sampling of some of those mistakes, and other information on regulatory investigations, see the series of posts under the category of "Dealing with a FINRA Investigation" on this blog. And, be sure to download a free copy of my e-book, A Stockbroker's Guide to Regulatory Investigations at www.brokerdefender.com.
To conclude, it is my belief that a broker, whose career might possibly be on the line, is well served by engaging experienced counsel to represent him or her when the subject of a regulatory counsel. In the next post in this series, I'll discuss some practical tips for evaluating and selecting counsel for these types of cases.
Joel Beck, the author of BDLawBlog, is a securities attorney with offices in Snellville, Georgia (metro Atlanta area). A former NASD Enforcement lawyer, he now represents brokers and associated persons, and investment adviser representatives, who are under investigation by various regulatory organizations such as the SEC and FINRA. He has been involved in hundreds of such cases. Joel also serves as a consultant to other lawyers involved in representing clients in securities regulatory matters. His e-book, A Stockbroker's Guide to Regulatory Investigations, can be downloaded for free at www.brokerdefender.com. More information about his practice and his firm, The Beck Law Firm, LLC, can be found at www.thebeckfirm.com.