market selloff headline

market selloff headline

Monday, June 2, 2014

It Only Took Four Cases...

After advocating in four U.S. Supreme Court matters: one on the merits; one as an amicus; and two cert petition battles, I finally can put one in the W column.

Petition for Certiorari in the matter of Campbell-Ponstingle v. Kovacic (Sup. Ct. Case No. 13-933), denied.

Had to wait through two conferences for the results, but as they say, better late than never...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ehhh, ohhhh, way to go, O-hi-o...

While my plate has been full of late with appeals and dispositive motion practice and deadlines assuredly loom, I was troubled to learn today from my learned and esteemed friend and colleague, Peter Traska, Esq. that his admirable advocacy on behalf of consumers before the Supreme Court of Ohio was unsuccessful.  Regrettably, the Buckeye State's high court determined recently:

A judgment decree in foreclosure that allows as part of recoverable damages unspecified amounts advanced by the mortgagee for inspections, appraisals, property protection, and maintenance is a final, appealable order pursuant to R.C. 2505.02(B)(1).

That seemingly translates into foreclosure judgments with indefinite amounts subject to lender calculations for various categories.  It seems reasonable to expect uncertainty and more litigation over these "unspecified amounts" which now have the court's imprimatur as being part of "final" judgments, at least in Ohio.

What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, New York jurists have proposed recently what appears to be a vastly more enlightened perspective on alleged debt-related litigation, calling for putative creditors to submit "affidavits of facts" before judgment, "based on personal knowledge detailing the date and amount of the last payment and the itemization of how the amount was calculated."

So I say, ehhh, ohhhh, way to go, O-hi-o...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bill Singer Reflects on Stone v. Bear Stearns

Former Forbes columnist and veteran securities practitioner and pundit Bill Singer summarized his view of the pending dispute in Stone v. Bear Stearns, et al. as follows:

"Many commercial and residential premises are required to maintain smoke detectors as a first-line of defense; however, you pull the fire alarm after the smoke detector goes off.  Seems to me that the EDPA and [Third] Circuit failed to take into account that to some extent Marston's relatively limited disclosure and FINRA's fumbling disconnected Stone's smoke detector. To now blame him for not having pulled the fire alarm sooner seems unfair and unreasonable."

Read the full Broker and Broker post here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bloomberg's Cohan Dissects Customer Claims Versus Wall Street "Overlords"

William Cohan concludes that "mandatory" arbitration (and FINRA itself) should be abolished in his observations about a case on which I am a member of the appellate advocacy team, and in which a customer's rights were abused throughout the process.
Read Cohan's column here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Son of SOES Bandit is a “Flash Boy”

Michael Lewis, market critic and celebrated author of Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, and The Big Short, offered a revealing look into some of the shadowy synapses of High-Frequency Trading (“HFT”) Sunday night on 60 Minutes in support of his newest work, Flash Boys (view interview here).  His eye-opening findings and rhetoric about the algorithm-driven fiber-fed flim-flams by HFTers using technology and light to perpetrate one of the oldest scams in the market—front-running.

I co-authored a piece for the NYSBA Securities Litigation & Arbitration website on the controversial HFT practice called, “Quote Stuffing,” a Recipe for Regulation, which you can read here.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Law School Clinics' Well-Deserved Recognition for Well-Reasoned SCOTUS Advocacy

Among my morning reading was this gem:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in today's edition about the efforts of law students from the Univ. of Pittsburgh Law School and Pace Law School as amici advocates in the pending matter of Stone v. Bear Stearns, et al., Case No. 13-959, involving a "public" arbitrator in FINRA arbitration with numerous undisclosed conflicts of interest.  Pitt 2L Sydney Normil from Jamesburg, NJ, said, "It's the best practical experience I've had in law school."

Pace Law School Investor Rights Clinic Director, Prof. Jill I. Gross said, "It's an issue we think is in dire need of addressing.  [Mr. Stone] was supposed to get a neutral panel of arbitrators.  He did not get a neutral panel of arbitrators and he lost."

Pitt Law students and Professor Stewart pose with a brief they authored for the U.S. Supreme Court. From back to front, Kieran O'Leary, Jeremy Papp, Stuart Carney, Fangxing (James) Li, Kelly Horejs, Joseph Fladung, Sydney Normil, Joseph O'Neill, and Professor Alice Stewart. Andrew Karas not pictured.  Connor Mulvaney/Post-Gazette
Read the full Post-Gazette article here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fifteen Years and Roughly 40+ Arbitrations Before FINRA Removed Arbitrator Posing as a Lawyer

Not the former fake lawyer / arbitrator.

A Santa Barbara man removed from FINRA arbitrator roster claimed to be licensed in California, Florida, and New York, which was news to California, Florida, and New York.

Full InvestmentNews article here.