Heidi VonderHeide

Heidi’s practice focuses on securities litigation and arbitration matters, including representation of broker-dealers and their representatives in FINRA arbitration and enforcement actions.

Latest Articles

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the constitutionality of the SEC’s appointment of its in-house administrative law judges (“ALJs” for short). As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, a trip to SCOTUS seemed inevitable after the 10th Circuit handed down its decision in Bandimere, concluding that the SEC ALJs were “inferior officers” who had to be appointed in compliance with the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.  That decision directly conflicted…
After spending the last few years ferociously denying that there was any constitutional issue with the manner in which SEC Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) were appointed to their position, this morning, the SEC announced that it had “ratified” the prior appointment of each of its ALJs – Murray, Foelak, Elliot, Grimes and Patil.   You can read the SEC order here.   For anyone who is or was the subject of an administrative proceeding before the SEC,…
Tis the season for announcing the year’s top examination priorities. This week, the SEC released its own examination priorities. Top priorities include: liquidity controls; public pension advisers; product promotion; exchange-traded funds; and variable annuities. Thematically, the SEC’s priorities adhere to its larger objectives: protecting retail investors (especially retirement savings); assessing market-wide risks; and utilizing data analytics to look for illegal activity (AML, mircrocap fraud, excessive trading, etc). Also, if you are an IA or Investment Company…
Yesterday, FINRA released its annual Examination Priorities Letter in which it set forth the top issues that would guide its examinations in the coming year. Running 13 pages in length (while complaining about having to be so “brief”), FINRA set forth some of the “many areas of potential concern” it expects to encounter this year. None of the items is particularly shocking if you regularly follow FINRA chatter. They are, for the most part, well…
Fans of this blog (or, at least, readers of this blog who are fans of Jeopardy) will no doubt remember Alan’s prior post, published a few weeks ago, and discussing a recent case that FINRA’s Department of Enforcement brought against one of our clients. From the very beginning, we, as her counsel, were both bewildered and outraged by the case, given the particular circumstances. Alan recapped the story nicely in his prior post, but…
The SEC has faced mounting criticism recently for its increasing use of administrative proceedings in enforcement matters. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the agency, challenging its forum selection. Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York has made it very clear he has serious fairness and constitutionality concerns and, just recently, SEC Chairperson Mary Jo White testified before a Senate Subcommittee, responding to questions on the agency’s forum-selection…
At a recent industry conference in New York, members of FINRA’s Office of Hearing Officers gathered to discuss current issues and topics relevant to FINRA disciplinary hearings. During one of the sessions, a Hearing Officer panelist lamented the format of the Answers he typically receives from the respondents in his cases. Almost without exception, respondents file Answers that merely admit or deny the various allegations contained in the Division of Enforcement’s Complaint, without providing any…
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White recently announced her support of a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisers, ending any remaining speculation as to her views on the subject. The announcement kicked of a whirlwind of speculation in the industry – What would the new standard look like? When would we see it? Will the initiative thrive or die when we get a new president in 2017? We will have to wait months, perhaps…