Joel Beck, a former NASD Department of Enforcement lawyer, formed The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. Joel's practices focuses on three main areas: 1) broker-dealer and registered investment adviser regulation/compliance, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, and arbitration cases, 2) business formations and small business legal needs, and 3) basic estate planning.
The Beck Law Firm, LLC and Joel Beck, the author of this blog, provide this material for informational purposes only. While we believe the content to be accurate, we make no guarantee to that effect. Use of this blog does not create an attorney/client relationship and The Beck Law Firm, LLC does not represent you unless and until we have entered into a written representation agreement. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision and should not be based upon advertisements, including websites and blogs. Please contact us for additional information about our qualifications before making a decision.
The original works appearing on this page are the intellectual property of Joel Beck and The Beck Law Firm, LLC. Copyright 2007-2014.
In the past year or so, I've received more calls then ever from brokers asking whether they can have a criminal history disclosure removed from their Form U4. Sometimes these events are matters from long ago, including college pranks that went awry, but other times the case is much more recent. Regardless of the age of the incident, the general response I provide the caller is, "Maybe. Maybe not." Some criminal history events can be removed from a broker's Form U4, but others may not be. We have to dive into the specifics of each situation, and evaluate the applicable laws to make a determination. But, in many cases when we do believe that an incident is eligible to be removed, we have had success in petitioning FINRA to expunge the matter from the U4 and from public disclosure.
In this short video, I'l share with you more information about the common question of whether a criminal history event can be expunged from the U4.
Some questions we often get are how often should I review my will? What about my other planning documents - when do they need to be reviewed? Do my documents need to be updated periodically?
In this short video, Joel Beck answers these questions and more, helping you understand how often to review your planning documents, and discusses some common events that should lead you to do a special review.
If your son or daughter recently graduated from high school, congratulations! Now that we've wrapped up the high school graduation ceremonies, plans are being made furiously to get ready to go off to college, to technical school, or to start a career. Don't forget your student's basic estate planning needs, especially the power of attorney and the Georgia advance directive for healthcare now that your students are adults.
In this short video, attorney Joel Beck discusses why these documents are important to your college student.
If you are in business with another person or other people, part of your business planning should include a comprehensive owners' agreements. These agreements are often referred to as Members' Agreements for LLCs, Shareholders's Agreements for privately-held corporations, and Partnership Agreements for partnerships. A good owners' agreement will put plans in place before there is a problem, to deal with issues that commonly arise, including death of an owner, disability of an owner, and a business divorce, among other things. In the video below, Joel provides an overview of the basics of owners' agreements for Georgia businesses.
Each month, FINRA reports its disciplinary actions, and each month there are typically several cases against brokers involving forgery or falsification of documents. In this short video, Joel Beck shares some tips for stockbrokers to help prevent these types of violations.
We reviewed the monthly report of disciplinary actions published by FINRA for each month from January through May 2014 to see if we could spot any trends. Time will tell, but it appears that cases involving Form U4 disclosure issues may be on the rise. And, we would expect to see more of these types of violations throughout this year given the negative publicity by some outlets earlier this year about the accuracy and adequacy of information on some brokers via the BrokerCheck system. Watch Joel's video report on our review.
Mark Schoeff, Jr. over at InvestmentNews.com reports that at FINRA's annual conference last week, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher floated an idea that would require registered investment adviser firms to engage third-party contractors to perform examinations of the firm's operations. The third-party auditor could be an existing SRO or a private firm. The goal of such proposal is to expand the reach of firms being examined, as the SEC examines only about 9% of the RIA firms registered with it each year.
I discovered Susan Weiner on twitter somehow, perhaps a retweet from someone I followed. That short tweet drew me in, and I had to get more information. That led me to Susan's blog at InvestmentWriting.com. I've found that site to be a wealth of information aimed at helping financial services professionals communicate clearly with their clients and prospects. I reached out to Susan to get to know her a bit, and asked that she consider contributing a guest post for the readers here at BDLawBlog.com. She graciously accepted my invitation, and her guest post is below, along with links for you to connect with her online.
Don't Sabotage Your Website's News Page
by: Susan Weiner, CFA
A news page featuring your firm’s mentions in the media can boost your credibility as long as you avoid one financial advisor’s mistake.
“Wow! This advisor hasn’t gotten any press since 2006.” That was my first thought when I looked at this advisor’s news page earlier this year. I immediately thought, “He should delete his news page.”
But then I scanned the rest of the page. I realized that the advisor had listed his media coverage in chronological order. He started in 2006 and continued up to the present day way, way down the page.
Unfortunately, most readers won’t scan the entire page. They’ll stop with the misperception that the advisor is a dud at getting the attention of the press.
The lesson for you? List your news coverage in reverse chronological order, putting the most recent items at the top of your page. For an example, see my “In the News” page.
Using the proper order is a small step with a big impact.
Rule 8210. It sounds pretty official and scary. And it can be. It is a very important rule in the context of FINRA examinations, and your failure to abide by it can have pretty significant consequences. But what is this rule, and what does it require?
In today's video blog, attorney Joel Beck seeks to pull back the veil a bit, and help you better understand Rule 8210.
We help brokers and advisers across the country with their federal securities regulatory matters. To discuss your situation, contact Joel Beck at The Beck Law Firm. (678) 344-5342 or send an email to info @ thebeckfirm.com (Don't send any confidential information until we request it, and understand that the firm does not represent you until a written engagement agreement is signed).