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Herskovits PLLC provides legal counsel exclusively to individuals in the financial services industry. We have experience in a wide range of securities matters, both in court and in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations. Although Herskovits PLLC is a small firm, our size allows us to avoid the conflicts of interest faced by large firms while providing unparalleled service at reasonable rates. Our office is located in New York City, but we can at times provide legal counsel to individuals in including Tallahassee, Orlando, Miami, and other areas in Florida, 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.

Florida "Blue Sky" Laws

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an agency that regulates the securities industry at the federal level. It seeks to protect investors and prevent fraudulent activity by ensuring that individuals have access to complete and accurate financial information. Although the SEC regulates and enforces these laws at the federal level, each state has its own securities laws, known as "Blue Sky" laws. In Florida, this law is the Securities and Investor Protection Act ("the Act"), and it is located in Chapter 517 of the Florida Statutes.

In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation administers and enforces the Securities and Investor Protection Act. Within this office, there are numerous subsectors. The Division of Securities regulates the sale of securities from, to, and within Florida. Moreover, the Bureau of Registration reviews registration applications, as well as securities offerings applications, and the Bureau of Enforcement ensures compliance with the Act.

Because of the high stakes involved in FINRA arbitration cases, it is prudent to have an experienced attorney handle these matters. For example, in a dispute between investment manager Merrill Lynch and two former employees, an arbitration panel in Boca Raton awarded the employees over $5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. [In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Meri Ramazio & Tamara Smolchek, Claimants, v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, & Smith, Inc., Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 10-04432, April 3, 2012)].

Claimants were awarded compensatory damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, defamation, negligence, and fraud, as well as several additional claims. After Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch in 2008, the claimants, both brokers, left Merrill Lynch. Upon departure, both employees were entitled to deferred compensation if they left for good reason. To determine whether each employee was entitled to this compensation, Merrill Lynch set up a committee. However, according to the arbitration panel, the committee engaged in a scheme to intentionally deprive claimants of deferred compensation benefits through several tactics, including fraudulent misrepresentations and withholding of information. Thus, because of the severity of these actions, the panel decided to award both compensatory and punitive damages in hopes of deterring future misconduct.

Herskovits PLLC can Help You Navigate Federal and State Securities Laws

If you are a participant in the financial services industry and are involved in a securities dispute, you should ask an experienced attorney for assistance. Our principal attorney has handled over 200 FINRA arbitrations with an impressive track record of success. Thus, Herskovits PLLC has the necessary knowledge and experience to handle your case, and our size permits us to provide reasonable rates and unrivaled client service.

Although our office is in New York, we can provide legal assistance to clients nationwide. If you would like to obtain our assistance or find out more information about our services, please feel free to contact us by phone at (212) 897-5410 or by submitting our contact form. We will promptly respond to your inquiry.

Client Reviews
I give Rob Herskovits and his law firm my strongest possible recommendation. He expertly guided me through a challenging and highly adversarial FINRA disciplinary hearing. Due largely to Rob's extraordinary efforts, each of FINRA's charges were ultimately dismissed by the hearing panel. It is unusual to beat FINRA on their home court, and I'm grateful to have had Rob by my side. Matt D.
Rob has handled customer matters (mediations and arbitrations) as well as regulatory matters for my firm. He is very knowledgeable about the process, and can explain the details in layman's terms. Rob presented our case very well and achieved successful results in every engagement. Jay
I give Robert my highest recommendation. He and his firm helped me through what could have been an extended and financially troubling time. I am not sure that I could have cleared up a false accusation by a previous client had it not been for Robert and his firm, and for that I am very grateful. Derrick
Rob was great he helped my partner and I last year get two cases removed from our record that had no merit. You know how the firms are they represent themselves and settle we suffer. Rob represents you and he’s great!! Jeremy