Thursday, August 20, 2015

Securites Law: Reflections Upon the Securities Section’s Inaugural Year

By Dominique Heller and Jared Perez

Reflecting upon our section’s first year, we are grateful for our committees, panelists, moderators, article contributors, HCBA staff, and, of course, our members, whose efforts and participation made our first year a success. Here is the recap.

We held three luncheons. All were well attended (50 to 70 people). Our first, titled “Recent Enforcement Efforts & Current Focus in 2014,” provided an opportunity to interact with civil securities regulators in Florida. Burton Wiand of Wiand Guerra King P.A. moderated our panel, which featured Elisha L. Frank, assistant regional director for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Dawn Calonge, surveillance director for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); Pamela P. Epting, director of the Division of Securities for the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR); and Lee Kell, chief of the Bureau of Enforcement for the OFR.

Our focus turned to the criminal side during our second luncheon, “Pinstripes and Prison-Stripes: Criminal Implications of Securities Enforcement.” Brian Albritton of Phelps Dunbar, LLP, served as moderator. The panel included Andrew Sekela, supervisory special agent for the FBI; Andrew Warren, U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division, Fraud Section; Michael Williams, Florida Attorney General Office of Statewide Prosecution; and Christopher Cutler, Foley & Lardner LLP, vice chair of the Securities Enforcement and Litigation Group.

Taking a hiatus for a social event, we hosted a Holiday Meet and Greet and a toy drive that benefited the Guardian ad Litem program. Our donors provided heaps of toys, and we raised money for 80 attendees to eat and drink, gratis, thanks to our generous sponsors: The Bank of Tampa; Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.; GrayRobinson, P.A.; Wiand Guerra King P.A.; and Heaven Sent Legal-Process Server.

Our last event of the year, “Lunch and Learn: Q&A Session with Our Decision Makers,” allowed participants to meet with those who decide securities matters in state, federal, and appellate court, as well as in arbitration. Moderated by George Guerra of Wiand Guerra King P.A., our esteemed panelists included Hon. Samuel J. Salario Jr., Florida Second District Court of Appeal; Hon. James S. Moody Jr., United States District Judge, Middle District of Florida; Hon. Mark A. Pizzo, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Florida; Hon. Herbert Baumann Jr., Thirteenth Judicial Circuit; and arbitrator Brian G. Mooney.

We would like to extend special thanks to our Regulatory and Litigation Committee members for making all of this possible: Colleen Fitzgerald, Scott Ilgenfritz, Gianluca Morello, Chris Polaszek, Eric Ludin, the Hon. Samuel Salario, Matthew Schwartz, Lonnie Simpson, Dionne Fajardo, Marc Abramson, John Lauro, Mike Matthews, Andrew Warren, Jordan Maglich, John Benson, Joena Bartolini, and Bill Paul.

We are already gearing up for the year ahead with much enthusiasm. As always, we encourage feedback and ideas concerning how to better serve our members (we are up to 141!) in 2016.