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
  • Financial Services
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
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 (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...

Second Circuit Defines “Customer” for Mandatory FINRA Arbitration
Manuel F. Gomez,Jeff Kern, September 10, 2014
In a case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. v. Abbar, No. 13-2172, 2014 WL 3765867 (2d Cir. Aug. 1, 2014), established a bright-line definition of “customer” under FINRA’s mandatory arbitration...

Second Circuit Overturns District Court’s Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement
Manuel F. Gomez,Jeff Kern, July 10, 2014
In a closely-watched decision involving judicial review of agency settlements, the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s 2011 order rejecting a proposed $285 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange...
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Office Information

Jeff Kern

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


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