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Sutherland Successfully Appeals FINRA Case to the SEC

November 10, 2008

WASHINGTON (November 10, 2008) – For the first time in more than a decade, the SEC set aside a FINRA case that found two registered representatives had violated the NASD rule on “selling away," which is also referred to as private securities transactions. In a case involving representatives James W. Browne and Kevin Calandro, NASD (FINRA's predecessor) had suspended Browne for six months and fined him $25,000 and had suspended Calandro for three months and fined him $5,000. The SEC reversed NASD, finding that it was "presenting new theory of liability." The SEC found no legal support for that theory and no evidence to substantiate the charges or to uphold the sanctions that had been imposed by an NASD Hearing Panel and affirmed by NASD's National Adjudicatory Council.

Brian L. Rubin, a partner in Sutherland’s Washington, D.C., office, served as Browne's lead attorney. Rubin stated that Browne is "obviously thrilled. This case has been hanging over his head for years, and he is happy to finally be vindicated. This case confirms that firms and representatives should think long and hard before they decide to settle with FINRA."

Rubin, formerly NASD's Deputy Chief Counsel of Enforcement, is the co-author of several articles that show through a statistical analysis that it often pays to litigate against FINRA. Rubin was awarded the Burton Award for Legal Achievement for one of those articles. Also representing Browne were Shanyn L. Gillespie of Sutherland and Christopher Bebel. E. Steve Watson represented Calandro.  For a a copy of the decision, click here

Inquiries related to this press release may be directed to Brian L. Rubin at 202.383.0124 or 

Sutherland is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to approximately 500 lawyers handling matters in every part of the world. Seven major practice areas — corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and tax — provide the framework that contains an extensive range of specialty areas, allowing its lawyers to serve a diverse client base that includes a number of Fortune 500 companies.

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Eversheds Sutherland is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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Washington, DC
Adam C. Pollet, Associate
Washington, DC
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