California

Herskovits PLLC exclusively represents participants in the financial services industry. We are skilled negotiators and advocates, and we have experience before state and federal courts, various regulatory bodies, and in a wide range of mediation and arbitration settings. Although we are a small firm, our size is one of our most prized assets, allowing us to provide unrivaled client service at competitive rates. Our office is located in New York City, but we can at times provide legal counsel to individuals in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as other locations across California, subject to admission pro hac vice.  We are licensed to practice law in New York only and this webpage is for general informational purposes only.

California "Blue Sky" Laws

At the Federal level, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) administers rules and regulations and monitors the financial services industry. One of the SEC's principal objectives is to provide investors with the ability to understand investment risks. To do so, the SEC requires public companies to disclose particular information to the public, thereby equipping investors with knowledge to assist them with financial decisions. Although the SEC is the primary regulator and enforcer of the securities laws at the federal level, each state has enacted its own securities laws, and in California, this law is known as the Corporate and Securities Law of 1968.

The California Corporations Commissioner administers the Corporate and Securities Law of 1968 and regulates the offer and sale of securities. In addition, there is an operational division, the Securities Regulation Division, and this sector has several responsibilities, including: examining filings; licensing and regulating investment managers and broker dealers; and administering the law that regulates the offer and sale of franchises.

In one of the largest awards ever issued by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel, a panel in San Francisco, California awarded claimant Aurum STS Aggressive Trading LLC almost $126 million in compensatory damages (minus $91 million that respondents had already paid to settle the dispute) and $26 million in interest. [In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Aurum STS Aggressive Trading LLC, Claimant, v. Société Générale, Société Générale Warrants Limited, N.V., SG Americas Securities, LLC, and Cowen Group, Inc., Respondents (FINRA Arbitration 09-03598, November 17, 2011)].

In the above proceeding, the bank Société Générale and some of its affiliates were found liable under several theories, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to honor a guarantee, and unjust enrichment. Claimant, a fund manager, had purchased warrants from one of Société Générale's affiliates, and when the warrants expired in November of 2008, claimant did not receive the payments it was entitled to because Société Générale chose to substitute a new settlement procedure. Although punitive damages were not awarded, this dispute serves as an example of the enormous damages that can be imposed in arbitration proceedings, and thus, it is prudent to seek the assistance of an experienced securities attorney in these matters.

Herskovits PLLC Can Help You Navigate Federal and State Securities Laws

If you are involved in a federal or state securities dispute, you should seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer. At Herskovits PLLC, we have the experience and expertise to resolve your case—our managing partner has handled over 200 FINRA arbitrations and has achieved an impressive record of success. Furthermore, our size permits us to provide unmatched client service and avoid the conflicts of interest faced by larger firms.

Although we are situated in New York State, we can provide legal assistance to individuals across the country. If you are interested in obtaining assistance in a securities matter or finding out more about our services, please contact us at 212.897.5410 or submit a contact form, and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.