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Posts Tagged ‘Greenfield and Goodman’

No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle Welcomes Richard Greenfield, Sunday Night at 8PM EDT

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 17th, 2009 2:31 PM |

UPDATE: This episode of NQR’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle has concluded. You can listen to a recording of the episode in its entirety by clicking the play button on the audio player provided below. Once the audio begins, you can advance or rewind to any portion of the episode by clicking at any point along the play bar.

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The detonation of the bombs that have hit our economy may have been launched on Wall Street, but certainly the collateral damage has been experienced nationwide if not globally. While regulators were admittedly asleep at the wheel during these attacks, who in our country is now positioned to hold bankers and regulators accountable? The media? Please. Will regulators hold themselves truly accountable? Maybe on a going forward basis, at best. Then who?

Please join me this Sunday October 18th from 8-9pm EDT for No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle as I welcome Richard Greenfield for what will assuredly be a riveting conversation. Who is Richard Greenfield and what areas of expertise does his firm Greenfield and Goodman occupy? Why am I so excited to have him on my show?

Greenfield and Goodman concentrates its practice in complex financial litigation and, particularly, in corporate governance, banking, consumer rights and shareholder litigation.  As a direct result of the efforts of the Firm and its predecessors, many millions of dollars have been recovered for defrauded investors and other persons injured by illegal corporate activities and obtained fundamental changes in corporate governance, particularly in the areas of control procedures and risk management. The Firm and its predecessors have also been responsible for obtaining a number of particularly noteworthy judicial opinions which have not only strengthened consumer and investor rights generally, but substantially aided in the prosecution of complex litigation to preserve such rights.

As for Mr. Greenfield himself, he has a resume that just won’t quit:

RICHARD D. GREENFIELD has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, various federal district courts, as well as the Courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New York and the State of Maryland.  Mr. Greenfield is a 1965 graduate of the Cornell Law School, where he was awarded a J.D. In addition, he has earned degrees in Accounting (B.S. Queens College) and Business Administration (M.B.A. Columbia University Graduate School of Business).

Mr. Greenfield is thoroughly experienced in banking, securities and consumer litigation, having served as Lead or Co-Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in  shareholder class and derivative actions alleging violations of the federal securities laws and/or breaches of corporate governance standards, in class actions brought on behalf of trust beneficiaries against major trustee-banks as well as in a wide variety of banking and consumer fraud cases. Mr. Greenfield founded and was Senior Partner in a 48 lawyer Pennsylvania-based law firm that specialized in such litigation; it was disbanded in 1993.

Rather than listing the major periodicals and news outlets in which Mr. Greenfield has been featured, it would be easier to list those in which he has not.

In the midst of all of his other professional and philanthropic activities, Mr. Greenfield is currently representing Benchmark Financial, Standard Investment Chartered, and Amerivet Securities in complaints against the Wall Street self-regulatory organization FINRA.

In the spirit of continually pursuing transparency and integrity along our economic landscape, please join me this Sunday evening for what will assuredly be a fascinating discussion with Richard Greenfield.

This show, as with all of my shows, is taped and archived along with being available as a podcast on iTunes.

LD

Mary Schapiro Has Some ‘Splainin To Do…

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 8th, 2009 4:03 PM |

Mary Schapiro

Big money makes for a very strange bedfellow. Is FINRA sleeping well these days? A pending lawsuit against FINRA would like to pull back the covers and check to see if the money in the FINRA mattress was allocated appropriately. Let’s enter the sitting room and take a peek into this corner of the FINRA household.

In the process of consolidating the NASD with NYSE Regulation to form FINRA, the NASD allocated capital proceeds to its member firms. This capital was generated via the initial public offering of the Nasdaq. Did the NASD, now known as FINRA, significantly underallocate capital proceeds to its member firms? This alleged underallocation, known as being ‘picked off’ on Wall Street, is the basis for a lawsuit brought by two FINRA member firms, Benchmark and Standard Investment Chartered.

Why am I concerned about the arcane inner workings and legal issues of a Wall Street self-regulatory organization? For the very same reason that I’m concerned about that regulator’s internal investment portfolio activities. Transparency or the lack thereof and the resulting confidence or lack thereof that the American public has in our entire financial regulatory system. Those goals strike me as worthy especially in light of the systemic risks embedded in an array of organizations which this regulator was charged to oversee. Yes, a large amount of exposure and transparency is badly needed at this point in our economic history. Against this backdrop, let’s navigate and see what we can learn about this lawsuit.

The law firms of Cuneo, Gilbert & LaDuca along with Greenfield and Goodman are representing the plaintiffs. From the former’s website we learn:

Along with our co-counsel Greenfield & Goodman, LLC, we currently represent members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) (formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers or “NASD”) in United States District Court and Court of Appeals litigation.  The complaints, which are based on state law, allege that defendants, among other things, obtained the NASD members’ vote in support of the consolidation of NASD and NYSE Regulation through an inaccurate and deceptive proxy statement and solicitation process. (LD’s highlight) At issue in the suit is whether NASD could have distributed to its members a larger share of the approximately $1.5 billion of NASD members’ equity.  As members will recall, NASD repeatedly asserted that the IRS imposed a $35,000 “hard cap” on what the NASD could pay its members.

Wow. With a $1.5 billion pie, we are talking big money. In light of that, a charge labeled as ‘inaccurate and deceptive proxy statement and solicitation process’ is aggressive especially for an industry’s regulatory organization. Whatever happened to embracing accuracy and clarity? Let’s continue.

Some documents from the litigation that shed light on the truth of these statements are now public.  However, FINRA has insisted that the key fact – the amount the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) told NASD it could distribute – remain secret, that is, under seal.

Secret? Under seal? Those terms aren’t synonymous with transparent. I thought under the ‘change’ being promoted by the Obama administration transparency would be embraced. What this looks like is more ‘business as usual’ on Wall Street. Navigating further we learn,

>The IRS did not limit the payment to member firms to $35,000 as NASD and its officials insisted.

>The IRS did not issue a formal ruling on the payment to members until March 13, 2007 – approximately two months after the member vote on the bylaws occurred.November 21, 2006.

>NASD Board Minutes demonstrate that the NASD Board discussed the $35,000 limit stating, “regardless of the amount agreed upon, it was paramount that the figure not be subject to negotiation.”

At this juncture, if I could be so bold as to steal a line from Ricky Ricardo in engaging Lucy, I would say to Mary Schapiro who headed FINRA, “you got some ‘splainin to do.”

For any legal beagles and overachievers in the audience, I am happy to submit the following legal documents pertaining to this case:

Communications between NASD and the IRS

NASD Board Materials

Proxy Materials

Internal NASD Emails

Internal NASD Memoranda

Communications Between NASD and NYSE

Rest assured, I will be monitoring developments in this case closely.

LD






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