Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

May 21, 2016

Like an artichoke, some lawsuits require you to peel off one leaf after another until you get to the heart of the matter -- and, just like an artichoke, you may choke on that prize at the center if you're not careful. Consider a recent FINRA intra-industry arbitration, which pits Wall Street behemoths UBS and Wells Fargo against each other in a post-employment dispute involving a host of former UBS employees. As you start working your way to the heart of the arbitration, you start forming inferences and likely conclusions. When you get to the arbitrators's Award, you either agree with the result or you don't. But then you may come across a related federal lawsuit. And then you may learn about a related FINRA disciplinary matter. By the time you try digesting everything on your plate, you're not feeling all that great and begin to wonder whether you should have ordered the lasagna. READ

The FULL TEXT SEC Complaint and the Department of Justice Information and Indictments are now online at READ FULL TEXT SEC Complaint and DOJ Information and Indictment.

Ameriprise Stockbroker Altered And Concealed Evidence In Consumer Arbitration

My role as the publisher of the Blogoften involves summarizing rambling legal documents or trying to convey the gist of a complicated lawsuit or enforcement action. There are times, however, when putting things into my own words may convey the impression that I am trying to spin things in order to make a point (and, yeah, sometimes I'm guilty as charged). In my opinion, a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority disciplinary proceeding presents an outrageous bit of misconduct by the registered representative respondent. Confronted with the lurid details of the violations and in order to present an unvarnished picture of what happened, I have extracted large swaths of verbatim quotes from FINRA's Office of Hearing Officers and the National Adjudicatory Council decisions. This one you truly have to read to believe! READ

On May 18, 2016, I received an email from the "Americans for Financial Reform," ("AFR") concerning that day's House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"): "Examining the CFPB's Proposed Rulemaking on Arbitration: Is it in the Public Interest and for the Protection of Consumers?"  AFR submitted a statement of the subcommittee and I urge all serious market participants to read the May 18, 2016 AFR Statement.

In a recently filed Complaint in the United States Distrcit Court for the Southern District of New York ("SDNY"), Plaintiff Megan Messina alleges that Bank of America sexually discriminated against her as a result of "gender disparities in compensation and business opportunities at the nation's largest bank and brokerage firm." Further, Messina alleges that she was retaliated against in violation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the whistleblower protective provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Megan Messina, Plaintiff, v. Bank Of America Corporation, Bank Of America Securities, LLC, and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Defendants (Complaint, SDNY, 16-CV-03653, May 16, 2016). READ FULL TEXT COMPLAINT

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Rules On Manning V. Merrill Lynch

In the high-profile Naked Shorting case of Merrill Lynch v. Manning  the Supreme Court affirmed the 3rd Circuit on the issue of whether Section 27 of the '34 Act provided federal jurisdiction over state-law claims. READ the FULL-TEXT Supreme Court and lower courts' opinions at Blog. 

Wedbush Didn't Know What It Lost Till Its Employee Was Gone To Stifel

Many popular songs contain a nugget of wisdom; however, we often find ourselves humming the tune but forgetting the lyrics. On that busy byway of Wall Street, the formidable warning of Joni Mitchell's classic "Big Yellow Taxi" is regularly lost upon management. Oh sure, those in the C-suites may remember something about a big yellow taxi or the paving over of paradise, but it's that critical line about not knowing what you've got till it's gone that they just don't quite recall. That's a shame because if you ask former industry employees, you will frequently hear their refrain about how they quit their job because they never felt appreciated -- and when that yellow cab pulled up, they jumped in and gladly paid the fare and added a nice tip for the ride to a new employer. READ