What is a Security?
A security is an instrument for finance or investment that has monetary value. Traders sell or buy securities in financial markets. Securities can also take the form of corporate shares. These are stocks of a publicly traded corporation, bonds, options, notes, warranties, or even loans and mortgages.
A security provides a two-fold benefit to each person on either side of the transaction. An investor in a security stands to turn a profit from the investment. The corporation or entity giving the security is helping to raise money for the entity and gain more worth as an entity.
What is Securities Law?
There are a number of complex federal and state laws that regulate the world of securities. The purpose of these laws are to create the rules and regulations for financial instruments. That includes the complicated laws that control publicly-traded corporations.
Ultimately, these laws help protect the consumer. Most of these laws were passed to prevent future stock market crashes like the one that ushered in the Great Depression. Many of these laws, therefore, are federal. But many states also have laws to regulate securities and minimize the chance of fraud.
For instance, in California there is the Corporate Securities Law of 1968. This body of law requires that most securities offered and/or sold in the state is regulated by the California Commissioner of Corporations, unless there is a specific legal exception.
Due to the complexities of the laws and the various securities lawmakers, it is difficult to understand and stay abreast of securities laws. In light of the horrible effect securities fraud and other financial scandals can create in people’s lives, it is best to find a competent person to help guide you through financial investments. Finding and hiring a securities attorney is a good way to protect your investments.
Who is A Securities Attorney?
A securities attorney is a lawyer who specializes in securities law. He or she is knowledgeable about the laws that control securities and the complicated ways in which these laws play out in the real world of financial instruments.
A securities attorney is able to recognize securities fraud or the improper management of your funds and can help you take the appropriate legal action to mitigate this or to initiate litigation if fraud or mismanagement has already occurred. This litigation can be a beast, as it may often include bringing class action lawsuits or shareholder derivative cases.
A securities attorney helps manage your financial assets and as such it is critical that you select a highly competent attorney.
Things a Securities Attorney Can Help You With
- Advise you through the process of selecting the best financial instrument for you.
- Advise you through any disputes you may have with your broker or otherwise help to ensure your broker is acting properly.
- Recognize insider trading and help you to bring a claim
- Recognize investment fraud and help you to bring a claim
- Help a corporation become a publicly-traded corporation and help them continue to sell shares within the regulatory laws
What to Look for in a Securities Attorney
A securities attorney is a business lawyer with a specialty in securities law. So a person with a strong business acumen will be best.
A securities attorney should have a background in business and/or finance in addition to an appropriate legal education and license. Attorneys who have published or spoken to an audience on a subject usually have a higher level of expertise.
The other things you will want in a security attorney will depend on whether you are an investor or a company/entity selling securities. One investor may want an attorney to help protect his or her investments. Another may want to file a claim if an investment hasn’t been properly protected.
Further, a company or entity may need an attorney to help navigate the regulations that control their actions. Similarly, attorneys can help defend companies accused of failing to behave within the required legal parameters.
You should find an attorney skilled in transactional law either way. It is also helpful and may become necessary to find a skilled litigator. Unfortunately, some businesses will be accused of or victimized by investment fraud at some point.
In short, securities law is a complex world. Your best bet is to navigate it with the advice of an attorney.