Law Office of Richard A. Stephens (Los Angeles and formerly Boca Raton, 1990’s-current): For Attorney for investors in FINRA multi-jurisdictional securities arbitrations and court appeals, against securities broker/dealers and investment managers. Over 100 clients. Prosecuted many dozens of FINRA arbitrations, including some $1MM+ winning awards, and settlement agreements, involving federal and state securities laws (including Rule 10b-5), FINRA Conduct Rules, fraud, fiduciary duties, unsuitability, unauthorized trading, churning, ERISA violations, mutual fund switching, fraudulent alteration of documents, credit default swaps, excessive fees, et al, against the largest financial firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Ameriprise, and Citigroup, and many smaller broker-dealers and investment advisers. Cases against investment managers, involving portfolio mismanagement and frauds, included Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Fisher Investments, Sanford C. Bernstein, Donaldson Lufkin, and Levitt Capital Management. Represented private hedge fund in cases involving credit default swaps. Litigated federal court actions involving motions to vacate arbitration awards; e.g., argued and won Kurke v. Oscar Gruss & Son, 454 F.3d 350 (D.C. Cir. 2006).
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (Los Angeles and formerly Boca Raton, 1990’s-current): Active as Arbitrator (Chairman roster) for Arbitration panels, involving investor-customer disputes with securities firms, and employment disputes between associated persons and brokerage firms.
Law Office of Richard A. Stephens (Los Angeles,1987-91). Civil business litigation in federal and state courts, with main client the Atlantic Richfield Company. Federal court experience included bankruptcy and antitrust.
Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) (Los Angeles,1979-87): Attorney (in-house), engaged in civil litigation and regulatory matters for Products Division. Scope of practice included contractual disputes, trademark infringement, supplier fraud, insolvency, franchise disputes, et al. Worked closely with in-house upper management on investigations, and regulatory compliance with federal and state statutes and agency rules. Federal court experience included actions to invalidate federal energy regulations, and action against gasoline station chain. At one time, responsible for supervising most of ARCO’s litigation cases nationwide, including insurance cases.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (Washington, D.C., 1976-79): Attorney-Adviser, Division of Enforcement (Organized Crime Branch) under Director Stanley Sporkin, investigating egregious domestic and international securities frauds and seeking injunctions, and Division of Investment Management (Investment Company Branches regulating investment companies and their public disclosures, and Investment Advisor Branch regulating advisers and preparing no-action letters), and enforcing federal securities laws, including Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Investment Company Act of 1940 and Investment Adviser Act of 1940). Served for one year with Trial Unit on SEC v. Canadian Javelin in federal court. Lead attorney on first federal case using U.S-Swiss treaty to open secret Swiss bank accounts, requiring federal court action to enforce subpoenas.
Otterbourg Steindler Houston & Rosen (New York City, 1974-1975): Attorney with mid-sized law firm, commercial litigation and bankruptcy, in state and federal courts. Supervising Partner, Conrad Duberstein, later became Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the E.D.N.Y.
Lazard Frères & Co. (New York City, late 1960’s-early 1970’s): Securities Clerk on Wall Street with international investment banking firm and investment manager, assisting management on underwriting closings, and maintaining books and records of transactional closings. Summers and seasonal during college.
LL.M. (Securities Regulation) University of Pennsylvania Law School (1975-76): Attorney-Fellow at Center for Study of Financial Institutions and Securities Markets under Director Robert H. Mundheim, with coursework at the Wharton School. Participated with the International Faculty for Corporate and Capital Market Law in its inaugural meetings with SEC Commissioners, NYSE officials, and investment bankers at major Wall Street firms. Published: Reevaluation of Disclosure Requirements for Foreign Issuers - Securities Act of 1933, 45 Geo, Wash. L. Rev. 135 (Jan. 1977); and Reevaluation of Disclosure Requirements for Foreign Issuers - Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 45 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 494 (March 1977).
J.D., Cornell Law School (1974): Associate Editor, Cornell International Law Journal.
B.A. University of Michigan (Economics) (1971): Phi Beta Kappa, High Distinction.
BAR ADMISSIONS: California, Florida, New York, District of Columbia, U.S. Supreme Court, various U.S. Courts of Appeal and federal district courts, including C.D.CA., S.D.FL, S.D.N.Y, and E.D.N.Y.
MISC. Former Governor Appointee to California State Architects Board.; Former Judge Pro Tem, Los Angeles Superior and Municipal Courts.; Former Adjunct Professor of Business Law, Benjamin Franklin University (since merged with George Washington University)..