Securities & Commodities Litigation


Whether markets are up or down, investors sue the perceived “deep pockets” of financial service providers and similar large entities. From Massachusetts to Arizona, from Michigan to Texas, it is to the responsive, skilled and sophisticated attorneys of Ulmer & Berne that many of the nation’s major corporations, banks and financial service firms turn to confront and resolve charges of securities fraud, misrepresentation, unauthorized trading or alleged violations of SEC and related regulations, whether lodged as individual suits or class actions. Ulmer & Berne attorneys also represent a variety of clients regularly in regulatory and investigatory proceedings in courts, the SEC, FINRA, NYSE and other state and federal bodies.

Corporate directors and officers turn to Ulmer & Berne for advice on shareholder issues, to resolve governance disputes, and to represent special litigation committees. With backgrounds in federal and state securities agencies and daily experience in the trenches of current securities litigation, our attorneys offer client-centered, practical advice and counsel.

Clients see the strength of the firm both in its reach across litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings and in its size. Ulmer & Berne is large enough to handle any securities litigation matter anywhere in the nation. At the same time, we are small enough to be efficient, responsive and cost-competitive.

January 14, 2021 – The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to review a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision that could alter the landscape of class action litigation under Rule 10b-5. The issue in Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement Sys., Case No. 20-222, 2020 WL 7296815...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Heidi E. VonderHeide Heidi is my go-to destination for all things Reg BI.  Here’s a quick, but really helpful, update from her. –  Alan This week OCIE issued twin alerts relating to the upcoming implementation of Reg BI. A lot of the statements are...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Forced to sit at home under government-ordered decree, and having finished binge-watching Season 3 of Ozark and Season 4 of Money Heist on Netflix, what’s left to do except prey upon scared investors – particularly seniors – who have been watching the...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I think that most lawyers who handle arbitrations, no matter what side of the table they occupy, would agree that one of the most important components of the case – perhaps the most important – is the selection of the arbitrators who comprise the...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper A couple of years ago, I complained here about FINRA’s Office of Disciplinary Affairs, or ODA. I am here to report that…nothing has changed. Let me explain. I am defending a FINRA Enforcement case that is scheduled to go to hearing in a...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Heidi E. VonderHeide Heidi continues to stay on top of developments relating to Reg BI. – Alan Just in case you’ve not yet seen them, both the SEC and FINRA, over the last week or so, have released a series of documents that touch, partly or entirely,...

Ulmer Partner Ronald S. Betman was published in the most recent edition of the American Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Newsletter (Winter 2020). Betman’s article, “SEC Enforcement Actions Brought in Support of Foreign Securities Authorities,” covers the background on SEC cooperative arrangements with foreign securities authorities as well as the SEC’s...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper As I have mentioned before, several times, PIABA is deathly concerned with the fact that sometimes customers who prevail in arbitrations are unable to collect their awards, which typically happens when the respondent firm and/or the RR leaves the industry (thus eliminating...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Last year, for the first time, FINRA produced a statistical report designed to provide some perspective on the firms that comprise its membership. I blogged about it, and concluded at the time that the report basically demonstrated the following: FINRA is still mostly...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I have written a few times about FINRA’s ceaseless interest in bringing cases against registered reps who fail to update their Form U-4 in a timely manner to disclose the fact that a tax lien has been filed against them. Or several...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Once again – twice again, actually – FINRA has used Rule 8210 as a cudgel, beating the poor unfortunate recipients of the “request” for documents and information into submission, or worse. This has got to stop. The first case is a repeat...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I read an article this week in Investment News with the following headline: “Brokerage Customers Winning More FINRA Arbitration Cases.” As a guy who defends customer cases, I was naturally intriguied by this. According to the article, “brokerage customers who do file...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Frances Floriano Goins has been elected to the Board of Directors of Beck Center for the Arts, a nonprofit performing arts and arts education organization dedicated to inspiring and enriching the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans. Beck Center for the Arts...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Rightly or wrongly, I don’t know much about cryptocurrencies or digital coins. But that’s ok. What is worrisome, on the other hand, is that I am increasingly concerned that FINRA doesn’t either. And while my own ignorance will have exactly zero impact...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper FINRA loves to tout its supposed intent to bring meaningful cases, cases that matter to the investing public, rather than enforcing “foot faults,” as it has been accused of doing over the years. My own experience with FINRA suggests that while it...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Kenneth F. Berg I am fortunate to have Ken Berg, a commodities regulatory guru, just down the hall from me, so I’ve never had to learn that stuff too well.  But, here, as you will see, there can be considerable overlap between the securities and the...

Ulmer Partner Richard Hamilton was featured during the June 7 episode of “Nightly Business Report,” a national news program produced by CNBC that airs on PBS. Offering his insider perspective as a former attorney in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Hamilton was interviewed regarding the Justice Department’s antitrust probe of Google and...

Part II By Kenneth F. Berg This is the second part of a two-part article discussing a defendant’s Seventh Amendment right to jury in an enforcement action by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act for civil monetary penalties.  Part I analyzed existing Supreme Court cases regarding...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper Reading Reg Notice 19-17 makes me think of the legal arguments that I’ve recently read regarding whether a president can be found guilty of obstructing justice if the actions in question were taken out in the open, for everyone to see. Here, FINRA’s proposed...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I apologize for all the posts this week, but I am traveling and am in a different time zone, so I am awake at hours when, ordinarily, I would be asleep, giving me time to muse.  Anyway, given that, I will not...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that over my last few posts, I have been talking about an increasingly visible effort by FINRA to turn its regulatory eye from rogue brokers – who have been an...

Part I By Kenneth F. Berg This is the first of a two-part article discussing a defendant’s Seventh Amendment right to jury in an enforcement action by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act for civil monetary penalties.  Civil penalties for violation of the CEA are now...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper I told you two weeks ago in my blog post that this would happen. I told you that when Robert Cook announced the topics to be taken up at the February/March FINRA Board meeting in Boca Raton, he slipped and used the new phrase...

Ulmer Partner Frances Floriano Goins and Associate Michael Davis Hoenig recently wrote an article for Bloomberg Law entitled, “INSIGHT: Protecting Broker Dealers from Cyber Threats.” In the article, Goins and Hoenig examine a FINRA report that provides broker dealers with best practices for effective cybersecurity, and warn that it is...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Michael A. Gross Does FINRA have jurisdiction over me? This is a question that I regularly field at the outset of regulatory engagements. My answer differs depending on a number of factors, including the nature of a person’s role and duties at a firm, his...

Ulmer Partner Alan M. Wolper was recently interviewed by PLANADVISER in an article entitled, “B/D Attorney: Don’t Be Distracted by FINRA Examination Priorities Letter.” Wolper provided his insights into the recently published FINRA 2019 priorities list, which he thinks is interesting, but ultimately not all that informative when it comes...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that five attorneys from its Chicago office have been selected to the 2019 list of Illinois Super Lawyers. The list features the top attorneys in the state, chosen for their demonstrated excellence in the practice of law. Of those named from Ulmer,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper In what has become an annual, but hardly exciting – I mean, it’s not like anxiously awaiting the day that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training – tradition, with the turning of the calendar to the new year, FINRA has...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper About a year ago, the SEC offered investment advisors the unique opportunity to report themselves to the SEC if they sold mutual funds to their clients that offered a lower priced share class than the class actually selected by the advisor,...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Michael A. Gross It is not a wise career move for a registered rep to leave his broker-dealer – thereby abandoning his customers, and affording competitors the opportunity to make his customers their own – and then to begin the long, expensive, and uncertain process...

Ulmer Partner Frances Floriano Goins was recently interviewed for a Global Data Review article entitled, “Facebook could face FTC scrutiny, say privacy lawyers.” Goins provided her insights following The New York Times’ discovery that Facebook has been giving other companies access to users’ personal data and whether this violated Facebook’s...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Alan M. Wolper What exists at the point where PIABA’s transparent self-interest in getting paid and FINRA’s historical lack of transparency about who is actually driving its agenda regarding arbitrations? This: a late December decision by FINRA to propose a rule that prohibits non-lawyers from...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the election of four partners to the firm, effective January 1, 2019. This class of new partners includes accomplished attorneys from three of Ulmer’s offices who have diverse experience spanning multiple legal disciplines. “Through their hard work, determination, and dedication to providing...

Representative Experience