Jeff Kern: Lawyer with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Jeff Kern

Special Counsel
Los Angeles,  CA  U.S.A.

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Experience & CredentialsOther Offices

Practice Areas

  • Litigation
  • Securities Enforcement
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Financial Services
University Boston College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1984
Law SchoolDuke University School of Law, J.D., 1987 Executive Committee, Moot Court Board
Admitted1988, New York; 1990, Massachusetts; United States District Court, Southern District of New York; United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. (Not admitted in California)


•New York City Bar, Securities Regulation Committee
•New York County Lawyers Association, Securities and Exchanges Committee
•Chair, Board of Directors of the Kings County District Attorney Alumni Association
•Board Member, Charles J. Hynes Association


Jeff Kern is a special counsel in the Government Contracts, Investigations, and International Trade Practice Group in the firm's New York and Los Angeles offices. He is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Kern's practice encompasses securities regulation, compliance, and litigation as well as internal investigations and white collar defense. He represents broker-dealers and associated individuals who are the focus of SEC, FINRA and other regulatory investigations and provides guidance in the FINRA membership application and business expansion process. He has particular expertise with SRO litigation, corporate investigations and investigative testimony.

In addition, Mr. Kern is a seasoned litigator who has conducted over 70 trials and SRO disciplinary hearings. He has also conducted numerous criminal, regulatory and private sector investigations. He speaks frequently on litigation and investigative strategy and has appeared numerous times in print and on network television as a legal commentator.

Before joining Sheppard Mullin, Mr. Kern served as Senior Regional Counsel in FINRA's Department of Enforcement and Senior Trial Counsel in the New York Stock Exchange Enforcement Division. In both positions, he investigated and prosecuted violations of NYSE, NASD, FINRA and SEC rules and federal securities laws. His work at the NYSE and FINRA included investigations, trials and appeals involving Rule 10b-5 fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, mutual fund switching, supervision, research, advertising, private placements, anti-money laundering, financial reporting, sales practice violations, outside business, conversion, and trading improprieties committed on the Exchange Floor.

At FINRA, Mr. Kern served as the District 10 liaison to the greater New York law enforcement community and oversaw the training program for Member Regulation staff in New York and Long Island. He was also a frequent presenter at FINRA conferences and training exercises. In November 2010, Mr., Kern received the FINRA Outstanding Achievement Award for his work on a complex investigation involving a prominent financial commentator and US Senate candidate.

Prior to FINRA, Mr. Kern spent 11 years in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, prosecuting and investigating homicides and other high profile cases and serving as Director of Training and Chief of the Investigations Bureau. He has served as Managing Director and Regional Counsel for Decision Strategies, an international investigative services provider, and as Senior Trial Consultant for DOAR Communications, a litigation consulting firm.

For the past 15 years, Mr. Kern has been an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, teaching a curriculum he developed on the use of strategic planning and persuasive presentation in the law. He is also a volunteer instructor in Cardozo Law's Intensive Trial Advocacy Program and a guest lecturer at Fordham, Brooklyn and St. John's Law Schools.


•2010 FINRA Outstanding Achievement Award

Publications & News


•The Bank Secrecy Act: A Trap For The Unwary Businessman
The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July 2014
•Building Constructive Relationships with Financial Regulators
The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, May 1, 2011
•How to Work with a Due Diligence Provider
The Deal, October 13, 2003

Corporate & Securities Law Blog Posts

• SEC Takes Aggressive Approach to Fortify Dodd-Frank's Whistleblower Rules, April 20, 2015
• SEC Requires FINRA Registration for High Frequency Traders, March 27, 2015
• FINRA Issues Guidance Notice on Confidentiality Provisions in Settlement Agreements and the Arbitration Discovery Process, November 12, 2014
• Second Circuit Defines “Customer” for Mandatory FINRA Arbitration, September 4, 2014
• Second Circuit Overturns District Court's Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement, July 7, 2014
• Second Circuit Applies Morrison v. National Australia Bank to Allow Certain Extraterritorial Application of RICO, May 12, 2014
• Second Circuit Upholds SEC's Authority to Obtain Disgorgement from Non-Trading Insider Profits Earned by Portfolio Fund from Insider Trading, March 12, 2014
• Second Circuit Applies Morrison to Criminal Prosecution Under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5, October 23, 2013

Media Mentions

•FINRA's Blockbuster 2014 Has Attys Wondering About Sequel
Law360, February 20, 2015
•New Drugs, Deals Put Pharma Under Insider Trading Microscope
Law360, November 20, 2012
•The Decision to Take on a Regulator
Wealth Manager - WSJ, November 16, 2012
•Finra Disciplinary Actions, Fines Rise In 2011
Dow Jones Advisor, December 19, 2011
•Tell Your Firm About Outside Work
Dow Jones Advisor, November 21, 2011

Speaking Engagements

• How Does Boston Bombing Compare to Zodiac Case? Bloomberg TV, April 19, 2013
• Labor & Employment Law Update: Spring 2011 Seminar, New York, New York, May 19, 2011
• Diversity in Law Practice 2011: Legal Update, Inclusion Strategies, and Work-Life Balance, Practising Law Institute, New York, NY, January 25, 2011
• Litigating Anti-Money Laundering Cases, 2010 FINRA Enforcement Conference, Alexandria, VA, November 2, 2010
• Taking On-the-Record Testimony, 2008 FINRA Market Regulation Conference, Rockville, MD, September 25, 2008
• So, You Want to be a Plumber? Investigating PIPES Violations, 2007 FINRA Enforcement Conference, Washington, DC, October 21, 2007
• Supporting Securities Litigation: A Behind the Scenes Look at How the Big Dogs Win Their Cases, Brooklyn Law School Securities & Market Regulation Program, Brooklyn, New York, March 2007
• Investigative Interviewing, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy Professional Development Program, New York, NY, April 26, 2006
• How to Use Jury Consultants to Help You Win at Trial, New York City Bar, New York, NY, October 25, 2005
• Using Technology in SRO Disciplinary Proceedings, NYSE CLE Series, New York, NY, November 2004
• Electronic Techniques for Communicating to Juries, New York State Bar Association, Commercial Litigation Section, Annual Conference, Saratoga, NY, October 9, 2004
• Your Pants Are on Fire! How to Detect Deception in Employment Interviews, Legg Mason Annual Management Meeting, Baltimore, MD, October, 2002
• In the Cross-Hairs: Taking Respondent Testimony in NYSE Disciplinary Hearings, NYSE CLE Series, New York, NY, June 2002
• Prosecutions in Developing Democracies, US Department of Justice and Department of State Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance & Training Program, Tirana, Albania, June 2001


•Labor & Employment Law Update - Spring 2011
The New York Office, May 19, 2011
•Financial Regulation and Enforcement Symposium 2011
A Conversation With the Agencies
New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019, March 10, 2011 (Also at New York, N.Y. Office)


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FINRA Issues Guidance Notice on Confidentiality Provisions in Settlement Agreements and the Arbitration Discovery Process
Manuel F. Gomez,Jeff Kern, January 16, 2015
In Regulatory Notice 14-40, FINRA reminds members that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to incorporate into a settlement agreement a confidentiality provision restricting or prohibiting a customer or other person from communicating with...
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Office Information

Jeff Kern

Forty-Third Floor, 333 South Hope Street
Los AngelesCA 90071-1448


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