Mel’s Professional Profile: Securities Arbitration and Regulatory Action Defense; Business and Restricitve Covenant/Trade Secret Litigation; Facilitative Mediator

Mel Moseley is an experienced securities and business dispute litigator who has been named to Michigan SuperLawyers, Securties Litigation as well as The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation-Securties (2014 Edition to present), including  The Best Lawyers in Americia, Lawyer of the Year, Grand Rapids, MI, Litigation-Securties.   Moseley Law PLLC, is likewise listed  as a Tier 1 Firm in Grand Rapids for Securities Litigation in U.S. News and World Reports Best Lawyers®  “Best Law Firms.”  His practice focuses on (1) helping those in the financial services industry resolve their securities law and regulation issues and (2) helping business entities, owners and executives with their complex business disputes.  Mel is also available to serve as a mediator for other lawyers and parties seeking to resolve their securities and business disputes short of costly and time consuming trials.

For over two decades Mel was an associate and then partner with a highly regarded, 200 plus attorney firm, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.  Mel served as a leader and former Chair of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP’s Securities Litigation and Arbitration Group and Co-chair of the Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Law and Regulation Group.

For over 27 years,  Mel has aggressively served the needs of those in the financial services and securities industry, including broker dealers, registered representatives, registered investment advisory firms, investment adviser representatives, insurance companies, insurance company affiliated wholesaler broker dealers, insurance licensed personnel, public and private companies and their officers and directors. He has fought for his clients in matters pending in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia.

Mel is a thorough, detailed investigator, delving into client issues so that he can deliver his characteristic direct and focused legal analysis. If going into the ring is the only or best option, he is ready to relentlessly and capably advocate the client’s issues, trying the issues in court or arbitration proceedings. If settlement is the best course, he is experienced in negotiating and conducting facilitative mediation.

As a primary focus, Mel counsels and advocates on behalf of those in the financial services industry who face complex, securities law compliance, litigation and regulatory issues. In doing so, he fights for his clients before state and federal courts, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA,” formerly NASD) , the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”), other Self Regulatory Organizations and arbitration forums, state insurance and securities divisions and facilitative mediators.

Mel’s securities litigation practice covers four major areas:

(1) counseling clients on compliance with securities laws, rules and regulations to avoid litigation and regulatory risks,

(2) defending clients against customer claims,

(3) defending clients against regulatory inquiries, investigations and enforcement actions and

(4) representing clients in the financial services industry against others in the industry, such as seeking or opposing injunctions in connection with enforcement of restrictive covenants of departed representatives.

Mel also handles complex business disputes involving business torts, contract disputes, partnership dissolutions, stock purchase agreements, non-competition agreements, confidentiality and trade secret issues.

Representative Experience

  • 2017 Successfully defended newly hired registered representatives and firm by defeating motion for TRO, preliminary injunction and expedited discovery in the United States District Court for Northern District of Illinois (Case No. 17-cv-5364);
  • 2017 Defending brokerage firm against FINRA arbitration against customer claims (FINRA No. 17-02326);
  • 2017 Defending brokerage firm and representative in FINRA Arbitration against customer claims (FINRA  No.17-00942)
  • 2017 Defending RIA, BD and principal in connection with  State of Michigan Notice of Intent to Censure and Fine;
  • 2017 advised RIA and IAR concerning disclosures to be made concerning third party manager arrangement;
  • 2017advised IAR and RR of large firm concerning reporting of various matters;
  • 2017 advised BD in connection with regulatory inquiry concerning customer complaints;
  • 2017 advised BD in connection with termination of BD;
  • 2016-17 advised insurance agents and IAR’s who transferred to their own RIA in connection with dealing with hostile former employer, regulatory inquiries and customer complaints;
  • 2016 defended BD and RR in FINRA arbitration against customer claim and negotiated resolution (FINRA No. 16-02663);
  • 2016 defended BD and negotiated resolution prior to filing of litigation after customer complaint was filed;
  • 2016 defended BD in AZ FINRA arbitration and negotiated resolution (FINRA No. 16-02874);
  • 2016-17 successfully defended and advised BD, principal and RR in connection with FINRA Exam and OTRs relating to multiple RR switches of clients from one VA to others, justifying rationale for multitude of sales FINRA and SEC questioned;
  • 2015-16 defend RR against motion for TRO and preliminary injunction in connection with his voluntary resignation to start his own RIA and allegations of breach of contract, improper soliciting of former clients, etc. in United States District Court for Eastern District of Michigan (Case No. 2:15-cv-11734) and successfully negotiate resolution of related FINRA arbitration;
  • 2015 advised RR in connection with planned move away form large, national BD;
  • 2015 successfully filed interpleader action on behalf of national insurance company to remove insurance company form potential liability for policy proceeds in convoluted case where primary beneficiary was arrested for allegedly murdering the insured (his mother) (Jackson County Michigan Circuit Court Case No. 15-739-CK);
  • 2014-15 defend IAR against motion for preliminary injunction after TRO had been entered in Kent County Michigan Circuit Court (14-08806-CKB) and defend against damages claims in private arbitration under AAA rules for alleged breach of contract and prohibited soliciting by client of former clients;
  • 2014 advised BD and new hire concerning allegations of defamation and successfully avoided litigation;Drafted team agreements for financial advisor/registered representative with restrictive covenants (2014).Defended and settled two FINRA arbitrations ( FINRA No. 11-03759 and FINRA No.12-01928) filed by JP Morgan against client broker dealer and/or their representatives relating to alleged breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, various business torts and claim for injunctive relief (favorably settled 2013).
  • Defended registered representative in FINRA inquiry concerning misrepresentations in expense reports, avoiding enforcement action and limiting FINRA to non-reportable letter of caution (2013)
  • Represented registered investment advisor company in contract dispute with service provider concerning trade executions and reporting, negotiating settlement payment to client without having to file suit (2013).
  • Defended broker dealer in FINRA securities arbitration claim filed by representative of estate of deceased client (FINRA No. No. 13-00630) and quickly resolved dispute through favorable and creative settlement (2013).
  • Advised LLC concerning interpretation of contract, promissory note and potential causes of action (2013).
  • Drafted broker dealer and bank employment contracts including confidentiality agreements and non-solicitation provisions while accounting for client’s participation in The Protocol for Broker Recruiting (2013).
  • Advise and defend registered investment advisor in connection with SEC investigation, on-the-record interview and federal grand jury testimony relating to possible insider trading violations  (2012-2013).
  • Review and revise broker dealer’s privacy policy and related supervisory procedures (2012).
  • In 2012, successfully argued for and obtained TRO in Ohio State Court against former registered representartive of broker dealer affiliate.
  • In September 2011, served as lead counsel and successfully argued motion to dismiss after close of claimant’s proofs as to client Pershing in FINRA arbitration, Stolaruk v. Equitas et alFINRA case no. 10-02669.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of securities claims relating to investment in alleged Ponzi scheme filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of MI. Urbanec et al. v. Multi-Financial Securities Corp. (Case No. 10-12869).
  • Summary Disposition granted for individual board member client for lack of personal jurisdiction in matter filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, State of Michigan. National Advisor Trust, Co-Trustee et al v.Fintergra Holdings LLC et al. (Case. No. 09-027455-ck).
  • Represented registered representative in connection with employer and FINRA inquiry regarding failure to timely report felony charges (no fines, sanctions or formal actions taken).
  • Obtained complete dismissal of claims against Chief Compliance Officer client and limited award to nominal damages concerning others in U-5 defamation claim by former representative. Stanley v. Equitas (Case No. 10-00210).
  • Represented Respondents in Thornhill v. Centennial Securities Company (Case No. 09-0684) (settled).
  • Forced stipulated dismissal of securities claims against Pacific Life by filing motion for summary judgment pending in Oakland County Circuit Court, State of Michigan. Hentschel et al. v. Epstein et al. (Case No. 09-101-357 NZ).
  • Obtained injunctive relief in Michigan state court, filed related FINRA arbitration claim, and successfully negotiated resolution following one day evidentiary hearing. Fifth Third Securities, Inc. v. Lefler (Case No. 09-02308).
  • Obtained TRO in Chicago, Illinois and won FINRA award exceeding $737,000 after full evidentiary hearing on the merits for Chicago broker/dealer client against Citigroup Global Markets and departed registered representatives. Wayne Hummer Investments et al. v. Citigroup et al. (FINRA Case No. 08-02433).
  • Successfully represented client in injunction action filed in Chicago, Illinois state court, and related FINRA arbitration, negotiating favorable settlement requiring payment to client. Wayne Hummer Investments v. Van Nice and UBS Financial Services, Inc. (Case No. 08-CH-01767).
  • Represented terminated equipment sales representative, negotiating reinstatement as a sales representative for company and payment of disputed commissions (2008).
  • After evidentiary hearing, obtained dismissal with prejudice of seven plus million dollar claim filed in AAA arbitration and heard by Federal Judge. Claimant was a former president of company that allegedly allowed late trading and market timing by mutual funds in TPA. He sued hedge fund client to recover amount he claimed was owed under stock purchase agreement (2007).
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of company regarding compliance with financial reporting requirements under state insurance law and rules (2007).
  • Filed Emergency Motion to Dissolve TRO and Dismiss Claims on behalf of defendant after entry of TRO in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan prior to our involvement, thereafter reaching favorable settlement (Merrill Lynch v. Komara (No. 2:07-CV-10368)).
  • After in-person argument before FINRA arbitration panel, obtained dismissal with prejudice of customer FINRA securities claim based on motion to dismiss. Milano et al. v. Kopan et al.(FINRA Case No. 06-05160).
  • Successfully represented client in injunction action in Chicago, Illinois state court as well as related FINRA arbitration and thereafter successfully negotiated settlement requiring payment to client. Wayne Hummer Investments, LLC v. Carroll et al. (Case No. 06-CH-26805).
  • Defended clients in injunction action filed against clients in Chicago, Illinois state court and related FINRA arbitration proceeding. Chase Investment Services v. David Johnson et al.(Case No. 06-CH-27487).
  • Successfully moved to dismiss claims against broker dealer client with prejudice before the close of claimants’ proofs in multimillion dollar FINRA hearing arbitrated in Oregon. Erfain T. Suarez, et al. v. Colin Patrick Lindsey, et al. (FINRA Case No. 04-03810).
  • Successfully obtained dismissal upon motions to dismiss on the pleadings in FINRA securities arbitration prior to evidentiary arbitration hearing. Barry N. Link and World Equity Group, Inc. v. Pacific Life Insurance Co. (FINRA Case No. 03-03493).
  • Defended Respondents and reached favorable settlement, then obtained expungement of matter from NASD’s CRD records. Bruzina v. Washington Square Securities et al. (Case No. 03-04375).
  • Defended broker dealer and obtained favorable settlement dismissing claims with prejudice.Szymanski v. Multi-Financial Securities Corp. (Case No. 03-04224).
  • Successfully defended respondent broker dealer IFG and representative against claim for 2.1 million plus costs, attorney fees, etc., where claim involved elderly clients purchasing variable annuities and other allegedly unsuitable products. Benton v. SII, Inc. (Case No. 03-04684).
  • Successfully defended against TRO and injunction action brought against Chicago client securing dismissal of claims against client. Wells Fargo Investments, L.L.C., v. Jess Siler; Bay Lake Investments; and Vision Investment Services, Inc. (FINRA Case No. 02-1139).
  • Successfully defended client in a class action lawsuit. Gage Crib Worldwide, Inc. v. Fax.Com, Inc. (02-00419-CP).
  • Successfully obtained directed award in favor of broker dealer client in multimillion dollar customer FINRA claim after close of claimant’s proofs, taking the lead among multiple counsel in cross-examining claimants and arguing motion. Award required claimant to pay respondents’ forum fees. Mitchell v. Merrill Lynch et al. (Case No. 01-02559).
  • Divergilio v. Primevest Financial Services (Case No. 01-06283) (settled).
  • Successfully defended client in a class action. David Beane, et al. v. Sigma Financial Corporation et al. (Case No. 99-cv-75813).
  • Successfully defended client in a class action. David R. Yadlosky v. Grant Thorton LLP et al.(Case No. 99-cv-60456).
  • Successfully represented respondent corporation in NASD arbitration. McTaggart et al. v. Vestax et al. (Case No. 99-5362) (settled)
  • Miller v. Vestax et al. (Case No. 99-03366) (settled).
  • Kangas v. Vestax et al. (Case No. 99-04808) (settled).
  • Bircoll v. Vestax Securities et al. (Case No. 99-05424) after full hearing broker dealer client was ordered to pay mere 3.6% of alleged damages.
  • McTaggart v. Ford et al. (Case No. 99-05482E) (settled).
  • Advised top producer for large broker dealer in Arizona on transferring to another broker dealer and negotiating contract.
  • While presently representing only respondents and defendants against customer claimants, Mr. Moseley has, in the past and for unique and appropriate cases, filed claims and negotiated settlements on behalf of claimants having securities claims against broker dealers, registered representatives, including:
    • Northwood University v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., et al FINRA Case No. 09-06833 (represented Claimant Northwood in CMO case and reached favorable settlement)
    • Arthur Hasse v. Friedman, Billings and Ramsey et al. (filed NASD arbitration claim, participated in facilitative mediation, and reached favorable settlement with Respondents)
    • Elba Philips v Longhorn Energy et al. (obtained summary disposition against certain defendants in Michigan State court, forcing favorable settlement where client lost funds in private offering)
    • Negotiated confidential settlement prior to filing claim after investigating and discovering that insurance agent defrauded client out of supposedly invested funds
    • Assisted clients in processing SIPC claims in connection with Madoff scandal

Honors and Awards

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in Americia, Litigation-Securties (2014 to present)
  • Named The Best Lawyers in Americia, Lawyer of the Year, Grand Rapids, MI, Litigation-Securties
  • Moseley Law PLLC, is listed  as a Tier 1 Firm in Grand Rapids for Securities Litigation in U.S. News and World Reports Best Lawyers®  “Best Law Firms.”
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation
  • Managing Editor, Indiana Law Journal
  • Order of the Coif
  • Chancellor`s Citation, Extraordinary Professional Promise Award
  • Extraordinary Achievement Award for the College of Business
  • Member of the Executive Undergraduate Business Program
  • Outstanding Sports Club Participant
  • F.M. Roddy Scholarship
  • Jack York/Scott Kendall Finance Scholarship
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association Litigation Section
  • State Bar of Michigan Litigation Section; Business Law Section
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Mr. Moseley has given compliance presentations to brokers dealers and registered representatives regarding current enforcement issues with regulators and best practices.
  • Conducts compliance seminars on issues related to minimizing litigation risks and being prepared in the event of litigation
  • Speaker, Michigan State University School of Law Symposium on Securities Law, 2004-2007

Publications

  • Rewrote chapter sections on  Business Tort Damages (Tortious Interference, Unfair Competition and Securities Fraud) for publication in ICLE  in “Michigan Law of Damages” in 2018
  • Annually edit and author updates for ICLE publication “Michigan Law of Damages,” Ch. 12, Proving Damages in a Securities Case
  • Through approximatley 2016 edited and authored updates, Mathew Bender Treatise, Ch. 93, Blue Sky Litigation, Private Civil Litigation Under the Uniform Securities Act
  • Commentator/editor:  LEXIS/NEXIS FINRA Rules Matrix, acknowledged in The Consolidated FINRA Rulebook: The Conduct Rules (2009 Ed.) (LEXIS/NEXIS)
  • Updated New, More Demanding Rules Relating To Suitability , 6/1/2012
  • FINRA Arbitration Panels May Now Be Entirely Public at Customer’s Request, 2/9/2011

Professional Affiliations

  • National Society of Compliance Professionals
  • SIFMA Compliance and Legal Division

Education

  • Indiana University J.D. 1990 magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Managing Editor, Law Journal
  • University of Tennessee B.S. 1987 with highest honors, winner Extraordinary Achievement Award, College of Business
  • Completed 40 hour, Court Approved intensive Mediator Training Course.