Law Office


National Adjudicatory Council revises sanctions guidelines

May 13, 2015 – The National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) Revises the Sanction Guidelines Related to Misrepresentations and Suitability effective immediately

The NAC has revised the Sanction Guidelines related to misrepresentations and suitability. Specifically, the revisions:

  • modify the guidelines related to fraud to advise adjudicators to strongly consider barring an individual respondent for intentional or reckless fraud, and expelling a firm where aggravating factors predominate the firm’s misconduct;
  • modify the guidelines related to suitability to advise adjudicators to strongly consider barring an individual respondent where aggravating factors predominate the respondent’s misconduct and ordering expulsion of a firm in egregious cases;
  • emphasize that FINRA’s disciplinary sanctions should be designed to protect the investing public by deterring misconduct and upholding high standards of business conduct;
  • reiterate FINRA’s longstanding position that sanctions in disciplinary cases should be more severe for recidivists;
  • index the high-end of the monetary sanctions to the Consumer Price Index starting from 1998; and
  • reflect the new FINRA rule numbers for rules that have been adopted into the consolidated FINRA rulebook.

Cypress Semiconductor was liable for the attorney’s fees

April 28, 2015 – The Sixth Appellate District of California found that plaintiff Cypress Semiconductor was liable for the attorney’s fees of defendant Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (California Civil Code Section 3426 et seq.) because its claim that Maxim’s hiring of its former employees constituted a bad faith claim for misappropriation of trade secrets.  In the decision, the court makes clear that a business is entitled to recruit the employees of a competitor in California.

FINRA issues report on cyber security

February 3, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a new report on cyber security, which details practices that firms can tailor to their business model as they strengthen their cyber security efforts.  The top 3 threats identified in the 2011 and 2014 surveys are:

  1. hackers penetrating firm systems;
  2. insiders compromising firm or client data; and
  3. operational risks.

FINRA observes shortcomings in 5 key areas

January 6, 2015, FINRA notes that it observes shortcomings in five key areas of broker-dealer activity.

  1. alignment of firms’ interests with those of their customers;
  2. standards of ethical behavior;
  3. development of strong supervisory and risk management systems;
  4. development, marketing and sale of novel products and services; and
  5. management of conflicts of interest.

California licensee loan activity for 2013

October, 2014 – The Department of Business Oversight released the 2013 Report of California Finance Lender License activity shows that licensee made $7.9B on $59.5B of commercial loans, and $3.57B on $18.5B of consumer loans with the average commercial loan being $106,650, and the average consumer loan $43,521.  Real estate secured 87.3% of consumer loans.

Probate cases transferred to Dept. 29

Los Angeles County Superior Court.  All probate cases pending in district courthouses, except in the North District, will be transferred to Department 29 in the Central District. Individual transfer notices for each reassigned case will be sent to the petitioning parties. The date and time of the hearing will remain as currently set.

Probate cases include matters concerned with wills, trusts, estates, guardianships and conservatorships.

Court Reports leaving Los Angeles Courts

Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Effective June 14, 2013, the Los Angeles Superior Court will no longer provide court reporters for general jurisdiction civil matters, except in the writs departments – 82, 85 and 86 – located in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. The writs departments will continue to use the established matrix for court reporter assignments.