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HTMLPrivate Placements: Retail Broker-Dealers Shape Terms of Placements to Sell More of Them
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on January 5, 2015
A recent Reuters special report shines light on an "increasingly common" practice among broker-dealers of changing -- and shaping -- the terms of private placements they sell. The report highlights several points:

 

HTMLLargest One-Time Settlement in Maine History Involving Alleged Unfair Credit Rating Practices
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on February 6, 2015
The Maine Attorney General announced earlier this week that its $21.5 million share of the multi-state settlement with Standard & Poor's over credit rating practices is the "largest ever one-time settlement in Maine history." The settlement received substantial press attention...

 

HTMLInvestors Should be Wary of "Happiness Letters"
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on January 9, 2015
As the Wall Street Journal's Jason Zweig recently cautioned, "If you get a 'happiness letter' from your brokerage firm . . . be worried."

 

HTMLMaine Securities Regulator Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee on Aging; Touts Success of Maine Program to Combat Senior Financial Exploitation
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on February 26, 2015
As the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) reports, on February 4, 2015 Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw testified before the U.S. Special Committee on Aging. Shaw emphasized the difficulty in addressing senior financial exploitation, noting that many elderly...

 

HTMLCrowdfunding -- Less Useful and More Risky?
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on January 30, 2015
It's great that Maine and about fifteen other States are making it easier for startups to raise money by authorizing crowdfunding -- an online money-raising strategy that may be a way of assisting small businesses and start-ups looking for investment capital to get their ventures off the ground.

 

HTMLBeware of Misleading Financial Advisor Credentials
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on January 12, 2015
What is an investor to make of the alphabet soup list of privately run credentialing organizations issuing credentials to financial advisors? One of the most reputable ones, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board, cautions that "accredited," "chartered,"...

 

HTMLLess Secrecy, More Transparency in Securities Arbitration!
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on January 27, 2015
Every now and then federal regulators exercise their authority to oversee securities arbitration practices and procedures, but does the public have access to reports, examinations, and other documents related to that oversight? No.

 

HTMLWhite House: "Conflicted Advice Leads to Large and Economically Meaningful Costs for Americans' Retirement Savings."
John J. Cronan, Sigmund D. Schutz; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on March 2, 2015
In a report issued in February 2015 the White House concluded that conflicted investment advice harms investors to the tune of billions of dollars. The White House estimates losses at between $8 billion and $17 billion or between 1 percent and 0.5 percent of the $1.7 trillion dollars of IRA assets...

 

HTMLHas the New Patent Act Created a Mechanism for Investment Firms to Dramatically Alter the Value of Their Investments?
Michael Martinez, Brian W. Nolan; Mayer Brown LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 26, 2015, previously published on March 25, 2015
The America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) created procedural vehicles for new market participants, such as investment firms, to challenge patents. These procedural vehicles include inter partes review (“IPR”) and post-grant review (“PGR”). Recent use of these procedures by...

 

HTMLArbitration Award Stands Despite Apparent Error of Law
Stanley A. Martin; Duane Morris LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
March 25, 2015, previously published on March 12, 2015
A federal appellate court has reminded the business community that a mistake of law by an arbitration panel will not ordinarily be grounds to overturn the award. The arbitration concerned a terminated financial services consultant, who filed for arbitration almost two years after the termination....

 


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