Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

March 14, 2020

On The Beach in Hysteria Mode ( Blog)
You ever feel like you've just heard the bell ring for the 13th round of a 12 round fight? Well, that's how I'm feeling with all the news about the spreading coronavirus, and the crashing and recovering and crashing markets. All of which has me thinking about the end of times, a zombie apocalypse, and whether I have enough bourbon, ice cream and cookies in the house to last. What's rattlin' around in what's left of my mind is pretty grim stuff  -- and the three videos featured in today's blog pretty much express what I'm thinking.
As of today, many of the country's major universities have canceled classes and are requiring students to attend online. All of New York City's law schools are requiring their students to attend classes online. No more lecture halls, seminar rooms, or student lounges. No one's going back to their old school. This may - - Aegis Frumento, Esq. hopes - - be the event that pulls back the curtain and allows all of us, and especially students and employers, to see that online classwork is every bit as valid as in-class learning. When even those getting degrees from Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Stanford, Ohio State, and many more will have fulfilled perhaps a whole semester of class work on line, off-campus learning will not be so easily denigrated again. That should open the door to inexpensive certificated off-campus learning for everyone who wants it.
Odd, isn't it, that Wall Street never wants careful deliberation or advocates letting events run their course. We go through crises and disasters. We suffer the pain and consequences. We commit to studying our failures. We hold hearings. We point fingers. Unfortunately, we never quite seem to learn the lessons and implement the safeguards. When the stock markets are hummin', Wall Street talks a good game about hedges, asset allocation, and portfolio insurance; but the minute there's a hint of trouble, all that rainy-day chatter turns to hand-wringing about the need for an immediate bail-out, central bank intervention, and whatever it takes to get through this. Wall Street talks a good game in the sunshine but runs like a coward in the rain.
I've listened to Spirit's Taurus.  I didn't need to listen to Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven because it's carved into my soul. Stairway to Heaven ain't Taurus. Not even close as far as I'm concerned. Sure, you can hear something in Taurus that sounds like a fragment of Jimmy Page's famous guitar lead in Stairway to Heaven, but, hell, you can often hear faint traces of so many parts of so many songs in so many other songs. You got plagiarism and you got inspiration. Two different things. Thankfully, a federal jury concurred with my keen ear and dismissed the copyright infringement claim in Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin. Unhappy with the jury's verdict, Skidmore appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the District Court's findings.
So . . . ummm . . . the stock market opened down about 5% and the oil markets are crashing and the world is looking like the coronavirus may be the beginning of a Zombie Apocalypse. And you were expecting an article today about Wall Street's legal, regulatory, and compliance scene? Really? Have you seen what happens when zombies enter the markets -- I mean, geez, they are really, really impatient day-traders who will pay an arm and a leg just to get into a position. As such -- no -- there isn't any Blog running today. Enjoy the cheerful and uplifting tunes we posted to help y'all get through the day.

In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Jay Lombard, Claimant vs. GunnAllen Financial, Inc., and David Neil Soiferman, Respondents   
(FINRA Arbitration Case Number: 09-04105, February 24, 2010)

The "" and "Securities Industry Commentator"
Are Each Published 
With A Copyright Notice 
And Contain Original Content
Authored by Bill Singer, Esq. 
and Published on,,  and

I, BILL SINGER, am a lawyer who represents securities-industry firms, individual registered persons, Wall Street whistleblowers, and defrauded public investors. 

For over three decades, I represented clients before the American Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the NASD), the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; in criminal investigations brought by various federal, state, and local prosecutors; and I have the distinction of representing witnesses during Congressional investigations. In 2015, I achieved a significant award of approximately $1.5 million from the Securities and Exchange Commission on behalf of a whistleblower client, who was the first in-house compliance officer to be declared eligible under the rigorous Dodd-Frank exemptions. 

I am presently Of Counsel to a law firm. Before entering the private practice of law, I was employed in the Legal Department of Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.; as a regulatory attorney with both the American Stock Exchange and the NASD (now FINRA); and as a Legal Counsel to Integrated Resources Asset Management. I was formerly Chief Counsel to the Financial Industry Association; General Counsel to the NASD Dissidents' Grassroots Movement; and General Counsel to the Independent Broker-Dealer Association. During my four-decades on the Wall Street regulatory scene, I have been a vocal advocate for securities industry reform and investors rights. I oppose mandatory arbitration for investors and associated person, and am a leading critic of the present form of self-regulation.

Since 1989, I have been a law firm Partner/Of Counsel whose core areas of concentration in securities-industry law are Regulatory/Compliance; White-Collar Criminal; Membership Applications; Issuer Listings; Litigation/Arbitration; and Congressional Investigations. For a number of years, I was a Series 7 and Series 63 stockbroker. Also, I served as a Hearing Officer for the New York City Environmental Control Board and a Business Editor for Prentice-Hall, Inc.

From 1997 to 2011, I was the author of Registered Rep. Magazine's "Street Legal" column. From 2009 to 2013, I authored the "Street Sweeper" column for  For several years I was the author of the "Summary Discipline" column for Institutional Investor / Wall Street Letter. Also, I hosted the "Side Bar" (Thomson Reuters) and "Case in Point" (Penton/ video series during which I interviewed leading broker-dealer, investment advisory, and industry compliance guests. 

I am the founder/publisher of the Securities Industry Commentator,, and the Blog, which was rated as one of he industry's top eight destination websites and the leading legal/regulatory blog by "Investment News." 

The Securities Industry Commentator was launched in November 1998 under the website. 

The Blog was launched on or about April 25, 2005, and has published over 5,000 posts since that time.  

Starting in late December 2019/early January 2020, my webmaster informed me that my websites had been victimized by what appeared to have been a DDoS attack. He noted that a large number of files had apparently been copied, and he promptly took measures to deny access to certain sources and monitored the ongoing attacks until he believed that they had subsided.  Sometime on or about January 8, 2020, my Host informed me that its Abuse Department had received a DMCA takedown notice regarding my page:  
My BrokeAndBroker blog article cited in the DMCA takedown notice, "What Is On First? No, What Is On Second. Who Is In Arbitration," was the 318th posted by me and contained content that I personally authored over a decade ago  on February 25, 2010, as noted in the posted content. As is set forth on the bottom of the page at issue and on all similarly published content: & Securities Industry Commentator™ © Copyright 1998-2020 Bill Singer. Third party Trademarks, graphics, and/or content are the property of their respective owners.

The alleged infringed-upon article cited by the DMCA takedown notice was The article claiming infringement is located under a website titled "Fastest," which appears to be emanating from India and authored by an "Orlando Ruiz"

The purportedly infringed-upon article discusses an arcane Wall Street legal issue and has no discernible relationship to the other content posted on the Fastest site. Pointedly, I assert that the Blogspot/Ruiz article is populated with content that has been stolen from my archive and re-posted. In addition to the fact that the Blogspot article is a virtual verbatim re-post of my copyrighted intellectual property, it clumsily failed to eliminate a reference/attribution to me by my name ("Bill")  in their re-published article: 

Don't Leave Me This Way. I Can't Survive, Can't Stay Alive

But Bill, you plead and beseech of me, don't leave us this way (with all respects to Gloria Gaynor).  Surely, surely the FINRA Arbitrator at least explained the point of the 2006 Settlement Agreement.  Just give us that much, you beg of me.  Okay, just to toss you one last bone, here is the Arbitrator's definitive explanation of the 2006 Settlement Agreement:

If the so-called Orlando Ruiz had written the 2010 article, the "But Bill" reference above should have been "But Orlando." It's hard to point out a more glaring example of why the article at issue was authored by "Bill Singer" and not "Orlando Ruiz." Similarly, it's hard to imagine a more compelling proof upon which a DMCA Takedown should be denied.

Because the Fastest/Blogspot site appears distributed by Google's Blogger, I filed a request with Google and with Lumen to take down the infringing Orlando Ruiz article. I informed Google and Lumen that I believe that there is no real "Orlando Ruiz," and that said attribution is wholly fictitious. Moreover, there is no online history of any Wall Street legal, regulatory, or compliance content attributed to such an author by the name of Orlando Ruiz but there are some 20-plus years of such authorship attributed to Bill Singer. 

As is an all too common result for content published on the Internet, the DMCA notice was honored against my copyright material, and in response to threats from Google to de-index my site and cease AdSense revenue, I removed my "318" article from its published state but it remains on my content management system in unpublished form. I intend to re-publish it when this issue is finally resolved; however, I harbor no illusions as to how long that process may take. That being said, should this outrageous effort to silence me persist, I will continue to re-post and re-post the essential elements of the FINRA Lombard v. GunnAllen Arbitration Decision in order to thwart any effort to censor my content. What was once a ten-year-old article of little interest to anyone, is now revitalized via this 2020 content. If an aggrieved party or non-party had simply contacted me in 2020, explained why my 2010 article was an issue for them, and provided some compelling reason for the deletion or redaction of his or her name, I may well have been persuaded to offer some accommodation. I never received any such communication. 

I suspect that someone retained a so-called "Reputation" defense company, which misused the DMCA takedown process as a way to delete an unwanted, negative reference from the Internet. There is much literature on this despicable practice and there are growing complaints about the manner in which takedowns are approved and executed. The abuse of this process likely protects the reputations of many fraudsters and criminals, and probably extends to those who are just discomforted by having their name online. I have absolutely no idea as to who may be behind the DMCA notice pertaining to the 2010 FINRA arbitration that I reported, and I have no idea as to their purpose. Be that as it may, the effort failed because I have posted a new story about the same case!  In the event that I continue to receive DMCA notices for this story and am forced to un-publish my original, copyrighted content should my appeals fail, I will re-write a new article detailing the very same litigation -- and I will do so as long as I am alive.

As noted in the Official Lombard v. GunnAllen FINRA Arbitration Decision, in 2009, public customer Jay Lombard asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty, omission of facts, and failure to supervise, which Respondents GunnAllen and Soiferman denied. Claimant Lombard sought $100,000 in compensatory damages and $40,000 in interest. Respondents GunnAllen and Soiferman requested dismissal of the claims. In January 2010, Claimant Lombard withdrew his claims against Respondent Soiferman and attempted to amend his Statement of Claim to add a Jamie Diaz as a new Respondent, which the sole FINRA Arbitrator denied.

In response to remaining Respondent GunnAllen's January 22, 2010, Motion to Dismiss, the sole FINRA Arbitrator dismissed Claimant Lombard's claims as against remaining Respondent GunnAllen. In his rationale, AND QUOTING FROM THE PUBLISHED FINRA ARBITRATION DECISION, the FINRA Arbitrator stated at

1. During July 2004 the Claimant, for his retirement account with GunnAllen had purchased in a private placement, as an "Accredited Investor", one Unit of Florida Capital Apartments 2004, Ltd. That purchase and Claimant's subsequent retention of that investment form, in alt their aspects, the gravamen of Claimant's Statement of Claim in this matter. It now appears that in March 2006 Claimant and GunnAllen had entered into a written Settlement Agreement and Release dated March 7, 2006 (the "Agreement" included as part of Exhibit C to Respondent's motion papers) with reference to a dispute that had arisen between them concerning certain alleged improprieties with respect to Claimant's account at GunnAllen, expressing their "desire to compromise and settle all claims, causes of action, injuries, and damages asserted or that may be asserted [emphasis added]" and providing for payment of $5,547.00 to Claimant by GunnAllen, in full settlement. The precise nature of the unspecified improprieties is nowhere described, and has not been identified by either party, apart from their both agreeing that it was completely unrelated to Claimant's July 2004 investment that is the subject of this arbitration proceeding. 

2. The Agreement further states that its "[p]erformance.. .will operate as a genera/ release [emphasis added] by and between GunnAllen and Claimant and their present and former representatives." Nowhere is this "general release" qualified or limited In any way to reference to any specific claim or any kind of claim; as written (and despite its being far from a model of legal draftsmanship in most respects), agreed to and fully performed it is sufficiently broad in its reach to include the claims made by Claimant in his Statement of Claim, which have to do with a transaction entered into almost two years prior to the settlement and are plainly "claims . . . that may be asserted", as indeed they have been, subsequent to execution of the Agreement. The Agreement was signed by both parties, and the required payment was made to Claimant a few days following its execution. 

3. Claimant now asserts that his signature to the Agreement was procured by fraud on the part of GunnAllen's registered representative Jaime Diaz, and that he did not at all understand its purpose or effect as a general release, but was assured that it was simply a document he was required to sign in order to obtain the promised payment, which he did. However, the final paragraph of the Agreement, which Claimant, hardly an uneducated person, indeed a physician, must conclusively be presumed to have read and understood, states in relevant part immediately preceding its signatures that "all parties having consulted legal counsel, or having been advised to consult legal counsel, and having had full opportunity to do so, [emphasis added] . . .hereby acknowledge that the provisions of this Agreement shall be binding upon themselves and respective heirs and next of kin, executors, and administrators." Their respective signatures appear directly below, with Claimant's signature dated March 25, 2006, and that of Jay Marc Israel, Esq., attorney for GunnAllen, dated March 27, 2006. Neither party can now claim not to be bound by the Agreement in any respect. Claimant has admitted that he has at no time sought legal advice concerning the settlement or the Agreement itself, or in connection with his commencement of or participation in any other aspect of the arbitration proceedings in this matter; Claimant asserts that in all respects he was bamboozled by Jaime Diaz, whom he has only now named as a Respondent.

at Pages 2 - 3 of the FINRA Arbitration Decision at