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Rich & Intelisano recently won a FINRA arbitration award which included $100,000 in punitive damages. The case is Stora, et al. v. Strasbourger, Pearson et al. (FINRA 09-01769). We represented a group of investors who were defrauded by a broker dealer and its registered representatives. Matthew Woodruff of our office tried the matter which included five hearing sessions. The panel awarded the claimants $373,968 in compensatory damages, plus interest. The award is significant because pursuant to the Mastrobuono Supreme Court decision, the panel awarded claimants $100,000 in punitive damages, a rarity in securities arbitrations.

New York Super Lawyers, a publication of The New York Times Magazine, has named Ross B. Intelisano as one of New York’s top Securities Litigation attorneys in their 2010 publication. The list of Super Lawyers recognizes lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their respective fields. Super Lawyers’ selection process is a vigorous multi-phase rating process based on peer nominations and evaluations, combined with third-party research. Their selection process has been recognized by bar associations and courts across the country.

Ross Intelisano is the only attorney on the 2010 New York Super Lawyers top Securities Litigation list who primarily represents institutional and individual investors in securities arbitration.

Sean Coffey has recently embarked on a campaign to become the next Attorney General of New York State. I have never been substantially involved in a political campaign before, but Sean is different. I’ve worked with and known Sean and his prior law firm for many years and I have never been more impressed with a potential candidate for elected office as I am with Sean. He is smart, loyal, strong and possesses all of the qualities needed to be a fantastic Attorney General. Therefore, I’m going to be actively involved in helping Sean become the next Attorney General. And I think he’s going to win. The press is certainly catching on very quickly. Kate Kelley, a very well respected writer for the Wall Street Journal, wrote a great piece about the AG race. Here is the link.

And a snippet from the piece:

“So far, Wall Street isn’t taking much heat from current or potential candidates to succeed Mr. Cuomo.

FINRA announced yesterday that it won approval from the SEC to expand its BrokerCheck service to make records of final regulatory actions against brokers permanently available to the public, regardless of whether the broker continues to be employed in the securities industry.

The FINRA press release states disclosure records for former brokers will be available on BrokerCheck beginning November 30. It goes on to state, “This is an important step for investors and for investor protection,” said FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum. “Individuals previously barred by FINRA and other regulators have surfaced in a number of recent frauds in other parts of the financial industry that cost unsuspecting investors millions of dollars. It has never been more critical for investors to research the backgrounds of the financial professionals they deal with than it is today.”

This is an important addition to the publicly available regulatory records of former brokers. Often times, permanently barred brokers, traders and salesmen will attempt to work at unregistered entities such as hedge funds. It is difficult for potential investors to do due diligence on a hedge fund manager without the historical BrokerCheck information. In the past, if a registered representative was out of the business for more than two years, a public investor had no access to the broker’s disciplinary record.

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