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Securities Litigation in West Virginia

Securities Litigation in West Virginia

In the securities industry, adherence to both federal and state regulations is not just recommended; it’s mandatory. Non-compliance could potentially lead to an unwelcome investigation.

Regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), can conduct an invasive investigation into your business’s operations and practices.

This is where a West Virginia litigation lawyer can assist. At Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, we can protect your rights and ensure your company’s actions align with all relevant regulations. Our firm’s experience can be invaluable in maintaining the integrity of your business in the securities industry.

What Is Securities Litigation?

Securities litigation centers around the violation of securities laws and regulations.

In the United States, these statutes govern the buying and selling of securities. Adherence is vital, as violations may trigger investigations and sanctions by federal regulatory bodies, such as the SEC.

Litigation happens when investors seek damages for financial losses that occurred due to alleged misconduct by issuers or brokers. Securities litigation cases often fall into two major categories: regulatory actions and investor litigation.

Regulatory Actions

When a corporation does not adhere to the strict rules in the securities industry, it could face regulatory action. The SEC or FINRA often receive a complaint from an investor or another party. In turn, that can lead to an investigation. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, fines or other sanctions could be levied against a business.

Some examples of actions that could lead to regulatory actions include:

  • Charging excessive fees and commissions
  • Unauthorized trading
  • Account churning
  • Making unsuitable recommendations
  • Failing to have proper internal controls

Investor Litigation

Investor litigation occurs when an issuer or broker has violated the law or breached their fiduciary duty.

These cases are more litigious in nature, resulting in a civil claim filed in state or federal court. Investors can seek damages for losses suffered due to a securities violation.

These claims of wrongdoing are related to:

  • Fraud
  • Misrepresentation
  • Insider trading
  • Failure to disclose material information

Securities litigation can impact a company’s reputation and financial stability. The risks associated with these cases are substantial. Any corporation facing a securities investigation or case needs a strategic and forward-thinking defense.

Common Types of Securities Litigation Cases

Federal and state courts hear these cases. Litigation may take the form of:

Class Action Lawsuits

Multiple plaintiffs may file securities fraud class action claims. These cases allege that financial harm resulted from the defendant’s breach of fiduciary duty or securities law violation.

Derivative Cases

These legal actions occur when a shareholder files a claim on behalf of a corporation. Often, the lawsuits target the business’s insiders, such as directors or executive officers. The claims often alleged that these individuals violated security laws, leading to financial harm.

SEC Enforcement Actions

The SEC can bring legal action against individuals or corporations that violate securities laws. Many times, it can lead to a civil prosecution in federal court or an administrative hearing. These actions result in fines, penalties, and other professional sanctions.

West Virginia’s Blue Sky Laws

In addition to federal regulations, West Virginia enforces its own securities laws known as the Blue Sky Laws. The West Virginia Uniform Securities Act mandates that securities and their issuers must be registered with the appropriate regulatory authorities. They ensure transparency and fairness in the sale of securities within the state.

This state law also:

  • Defines the scope of securities
  • Establishes registration and filing requirements
  • Imposes penalties for non-compliance

Any deviation may trigger an investigation and lead to legal action against the corporation.

From federal SEC regulations to West Virginia’s Blue Sky Laws, corporations must always stay compliant. Any business facing a current investigation or legal action needs to turn to an experienced West Virginia securities litigation lawyer.

Why You Need an Experienced West Virginia Securities Litigation Attorney

Implications from these cases can be far-reaching. For that reason alone, anyone or any entities accused of wrongdoing will want to find a qualified Charleston commercial litigation lawyer. Some of the benefits that these professionals can offer include:

  • Knowledge of securities laws: Regulatory laws dictate the actions and behaviors of those in the securities industry. An attorney with comprehensive knowledge of these laws and regulations can help clients navigate these investigations and hearings.
  • Representation in legal proceedings: Anyone facing an enforcement action, class action lawsuit, or hearing from the SEC or other regulatory body needs a securities attorney. These professionals can represent you and defend your interests in these cases. Additionally, they can help respond to inquiries from West Virginia state regulators, the FINRA, and the SEC.
  • Assistance with preventative measures: Robust compliance policies often prevent accidental violations of securities laws. A West Virginia securities lawyer ensures a business meets all the agent regulatory requirements set by these agencies. With that, companies can reduce those potential exposures to any litigation risks.
  • Understanding of local statutes: Many firms specialize in securities laws, but they might have a local lack of regulations. For example, West Virginia’s Blue Sky Laws can lead to more business complications. With an experienced local attorney, these professionals can help clients navigate federal and state courts.

With all the possible consequences for non-compliance with federal or state securities laws, your business needs a skilled and experienced firm to handle any securities litigation in West Virginia.

At Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, our team will represent you throughout all proceedings, from pre-trial hearings to appeals. Schedule a consultation today.

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