SECURITIES ARBITRATION CLINIC SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP I & II
(CRN 85183 & CRN 14636)
Professor Howard Meyers
Provides hands-on lawyering experience in the area of securities arbitration. This 6-credit course will extend over two consecutive semesters (4 credits in the fall, 2 credits in the spring). Under faculty supervision, students are assigned to work on real disputes between individual small investors/customers and their brokers. Students represent customers who have lodged complaints against their brokers through the arbitration divisions of securities industry Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs), such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The clinic offers students a unique opportunity to develop lawyering skills while assisting individuals unable to obtain legal representation in pursuing their complaints. In the first semester of the clinic, students attend a weekly classroom seminar, which focuses both on the relevant substantive law (aspects of securities law as well as federal and state law governing arbitration) and on lawyering skills. Through a combination of case work, seminar sessions and individual meetings with clinic faculty, students develop basic lawyering skills including interviewing, case theory development, fact investigation and analysis, counseling and negotiation. They are assigned written and/or oral exercises, including elements of a simulated arbitration. Teaching techniques include problem analysis, simulations, videotaping with feedback. In the clinic itself, students work in two-person teams, as assigned by the professors. Over two semesters, they represent their individual clients through the arbitration process, from the initial client interviews through the final week with a professor to discuss their cases. Students must commit to regularly scheduled office hours, when they can meet and work with their partners and case supervisors. Students should expect to spend an average of 12 hours per week on clinic case work both in the fall and in the spring semesters, in addition to seminar preparation. Grades are based on a combination of factors, including class performance in the seminar, performance on the written/oral exercises and simulations, and work in representing clients. There is no final examination. Enrollment is limited. No more than 14 placement credits may count toward the J.D.
Corequisite: Corporations. Securities Regulation, although not a prerequisite, is recommended.
****Securities Arbitration Clinic In The News****
****Most common investor problems****
Problem: My broker recommended investments that
don’t seem to match my means or investment goals, and now I’ve
Analysis: This is called unsuitability. When a broker makes a recommendation, he or she must make sure the investment fits in with your investment goals. In particular, the broker must consider how risky an investment is based on your individual circumstances.
Problem: My broker has been buying
and selling a lot of my investments, and I’m concerned about this
increase in my account activity.
Analysis: When a broker makes excessive trades, it is called churning. Your broker likely collects commission, so the more trades he makes, the more money he earns.
Problem: My broker bought or sold an
investment without consulting me first.
Analysis: This is a case of unauthorized trading. It involves a sale or purchase of securities without the investor’s prior knowledge and authorization. These transactions often involve existing assets in the account and do not require client payment. For example, an existing asset may be sold to buy a new security.
Problem: When making a
recommendation, my broker made a statement that I later found out to be
false, or left out a very important fact.
Analysis: This is called misrepresentation. It occurs when a broker makes false representations or omissions of material fact about an investment.
WAYS TO AVOID THESE PROBLEMS