McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman is pleased to announce the unveiling of our brand spankin’ newish, refreshed, and rebooted web site. Our goal was to provide more updated and relevant content in an easier to navigate forum. But even though the website is new, the mission hasn’t changed. Our securities lawyers still advocate exclusively

Ameriprise Financial announced at its 2011 shareholders meeting that they were selling their brokerage unit, Securities America, which was under investigation for selling worthless private placements in two bankrupt companies: Medical Capital and Provident Shale. Attorney Hugh Berkson represents Securities America customers in a 150 million dollar arbitration case.

Attorneys Hugh Berkson and Joe Peiffer announce that Securities America has agreed to pay $150 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit. This agreement came after a federal judge rejected a $21 million dollar proposal last month. The victims lost a total of $400 million in this scheme.

A federal judge rejected a 21 million dollar settlement against Securities America. The lead plaintiff’s attorney in the class action lawsuit wanted the deal to go through as he felt it best for the defrauded investors. Hugh Berkson disagreed, believing that Securities America could pay more to victims of their fraud.

Lawsuits filed against Securities America claim fraud for its lack of risk disclosure with regard to the sale of $700 million dollars in private-placement Medical Capital notes. Massachusetts regulators challenge Securities America’s assertion that it was Medical Capital’s responsibility to disclose risk issues. Attorney Jay Salamon, quoted in article above, calls Securities America’s position preposterous.

An author maintains that while financial fraud claims increase during poor economic times this doesn’t mean that more fraud is occurring. Hugh Berkson challenged that assertion, explaining that financial salespeople may seek out less beneficial and even fraudulent products to sell to maintain their own revenue streams.

Three changes are deemed necessary to fix the broken securities arbitration system: improve the quality of the arbitrators, impose sanctions for procedural abuses, and reduce time and cost of the process. Unfortunately, these changes are unlikely to occur given the expected merger of the NSE and the NASD. Hugh Berson offers his thoughts in the

A proposed NASD rule would grant parties in securities arbitrations the right to demand written explanations of arbitration panel decisions. While the change could potentially provide a further understanding of seemingly arbitrary awards and increase investor confidence, attorney Jay Salamon voices his concern, in the above article, that brokerages will use the documents to file costly

The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) withdrew a proposed amendment to the arbitration code that would have allowed panels to dismiss claims prior to a full hearing. Investor plaintiffs’ attorneys successfully challenged the amendment. Attorney Hugh Berkson explains, in the article, that his clients are often required to participate in arbitration and deserve to