Overview

For more than a decade, Sean has focused his practice on the defense of professionals including attorneys, accountants, broker-dealers, individual stock brokers, investment advisors, insurance agents, and ERISA plan fiduciaries throughout the United States.  

He has litigated in the state and federal courts of Ohio, California, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and regularly counsels clients on actions before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and state departments of securities and/or insurance.

Representative Experience

Regularly advise and represent SEC registered broker-dealers and registered representatives in FINRA arbitrations involving debt and equity securities, alternative investments, open / closed end mutual funds, unit investment trusts, and insurance products such as whole life, variable annuities, universal variable life insurance policies, 1035 exchanges, suitability, churning, options trading, fraud, State Blue Sky Laws, and Ponzi-schemes.

Obtained “no action letter” from SEC Division of Enforcement in favor of Registered Investment Advisor in SEC Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative.

Successfully defended national broker-dealer on claims of vicarious liability and negligent supervision arising from fraudulent conduct and selling away of registered representative.

Successfully defended options trader on claims of forgery, churning, and unauthorized transactions.

Successfully defended financial advisor on claims related to tax on collateral assignment of variable annuity pledged as security on personal loan. 

Successfully resolved IRS audit of 401(k) profit sharing plan partial termination under IRC 411(d).

Prosecuted insider trading action in violation of United States Securities and Exchange Act Sec. 10(b) and SEC Rule 10b-5.

Represented licensed professionals in regulatory investigations before the Ohio Division of Securities, and FINRA Department of Enforcement. 

Represented licensed insurance professional in regulatory investigations before the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Represented certified financial planner in proceedings before the CFP Board of Standards, Inc.

Obtained summary judgement in favor of estate planning attorney on claims of malpractice by contingent beneficiaries of revocable trust.  Affirmed on appeal and petition denied by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Obtained summary judgement in favor of domestic relations attorney on claims of malpractice brought by spouse. Affirmed on appeal before the USCA 6th Circuit.  

Obtained summary judgement in favor of litigation attorneys and law firm on claims of malpractice by client, and counterclaim for more than $100,000 in legal fees.

Obtained dismissal of complaint in favor of probate attorney on claims of conspiracy and malicious prosecution.

Obtained voluntary dismissal in favor of bankruptcy attorney on claims of malpractice claims brought by Office of the United States Trustee.

Obtained dismissal of claims against Certified Public Accountant for malpractice relating to preparation of financial statements and corporate tax returns

Obtained dismissal of third-party claims for indemnification and contributions against title insurance agent in class action alleging fraudulent overcharging and violation of filed rate schedules.

Defended title insurance agent in indemnification action by national title insurance company for non-disclosure of public liens

Defended bank trust department on allegations of mismanagement of Qualified Replacement Property related to Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Defended regional bank in phishing scheme that resulted in more than $1 Million in fraudulent transfers.

Dismissal of wrongful termination action before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Honors & Recognitions

Recognized as a Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine 


Community & Professional

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)

Ohio State Bar Association

SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society

Results

For a more complete list of trial results, please contact attorney.

News

Speaking Engagements

  • Updates and Trends in Accounting Malpractice, Securities Litigation and Banking Disputes
    Webinar, Jan 21, 2020
  • Rogue Brokers – Tips and Strategies for Representing the Firm
    San Diego, CA, Oct 28, 2019
  • Strategies for Addressing New or Novel Damage Theories
    San Diego, CA, Oct 28, 2019
  • Recent Trends: Insurance Agent and Broker Error & Omissions
    Cleveland, OH, Apr 14, 2019
  • Supervising Dually Registered Representatives
    Los Angeles, CA, Aug 14, 2018
  • Update on Transactional Legal Malpractice
    Las Vegas, NV, Jun 14, 2018

Insights

Education

J.D., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 2006

B.S.S.S., Ohio University, 2002

Admissions

  • State of Ohio, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 2019
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