Securities law is the law of stocks, bonds, notes and other business instruments. Securities litiigation revolves mainly around two Depression-era federal regulations, the Securities Act of 1933, which governs public offerings and sales of securities such as stocks, and the Securities Act of 1934, which created the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and governs corporations and corporate officers.
Securities lawyers also have to deal with a myriad of regulations propagated by the federal government that deal with securities law practices. Anyone who owns a business that either is publicly traded or deals in stocks and other financial instruments will likely at some point have to deal with federal securities law.
States also have their own securities law, which tends to expand on federal securities law or expand on areas that federal securities law does not cover.
You should know that:
1. Securities law is one of the most specialized fields of law, and a qualified securities lawyer is often required for all but the most simple business securities law problem.
2. While securities law practices can be found across the United States, many of the biggest securities law firms are based in New York City and the surrounding area.
3. State securities laws are known as "Blue Sky Laws." Many of these preceded the major federal government securities laws.
Know where to find busines securities law onlineThere are good sources on the Internet for federal securities law.
Securities Lawyer's Deskbook, which is published by the University of Cincinnati College of Law, is a terrific compilation of securities law including federal statutes, regulations and standards of professional conduct that apply to securities lawyers. The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School also has an extensive grouping of securities law information, including state Blue Sky Laws, for practicing securities attorneys and laymen.
Update your securities law sources with news and analysisSecurities law is one of the most dynamic areas of litigation. Keep up with the latest headlines and analysis.
Find a good securities lawyerSecurities law is complex. Know where to go for good stocks and securities lawyers.
- For basic securities law statutes and regulations, don't use a paid service. You can easily find this information free on the internet.
- Keep in mind that you need to check state securities law as well as federal when dealing with any securities law issue.