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.
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
- Jun 11, 2019, DismissalU.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
Early dismissal of Vermont based Executor of the Estate in plaintiff’s legal malpractice and conspiracy claim, finding attorney did not avail the privileges and protection of Ohio by participating in disciplinary investigation.
- Jan 19, 2019, Judgment Affirmed8th Dist. Ct. of Appeals
Terry L. Jochum, et al., v. Ezio Listati, et al.
Plaintiff appealed adverse trial court judgment in defense of legal malpractice claim.
- Feb 1, 2018, Affirmed8th Dist. Ct. of Appeals
Mitchell v. Babickas, 2018-Ohio-383
Affirming trial court summary judgement in favor of product manufacturer for property damage
- Aug 22, 2017, DismissalUnited States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Early dismissal of domestic relations attorney on claimed violations of 42 USC 1983, abuse of process and conspiracy.
- Apr 3, 2017, DismissalUnited States Disctrict Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Stipulated dismissal of financial advisor on plaintiffs claims of fraudulent inducement to purchase universal life insurance policy
- Aug 23, 2016, DismissalU.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
Early dismissal of insurance agency on claims of negligence and malpractice for lack of federal jurisdiction
- Jan 26, 2015, Summary Judgment8th District Court of Appeals
LAME, Inc. v. E.G. Systems Inc., 2015-Ohio-686
Summary judgement in favor of product manufacture and distributor for claims of personal property damage
- Mar 7, 2014, Motion to Sever Third Party Claims GrantedUnited States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Granting motion to sever third party claims against title insurance agent in class action alleging improper application of title insurance rate
- Jan 15, 2014, DismissalU.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Early dismissal of certified public accountant on claims of malpractice and conspiracy
- Mar 6, 2012, Denial of Temporary Restraining Order and Early DismissalUnited States Disctrict Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Denial of temporary restraining order and early dismissal of plaintiff’s malpractice claims against attorneys based on lack of privity
- Nov 14, 2011, Affirmed Early Dismissal5th Dist. Ct. Appeals
Berkmyer v. Serra, 2011-Ohio-5901
Affirming early dismissal of malpractice claims against defendant estate planning attorney for lack of privity with contingent beneficiaries.
Subsequent History, cert denied, Supreme Court of Ohio, 131 Ohio St. 3d 1484
- Press Release, Dec 5, 2018
- Press Release, Dec 6, 2017
- Press Release, Mar 14, 2017
- Updates and Trends in Accounting Malpractice, Securities Litigation and Banking DisputesWebinar, Jan 21, 2020
- Rogue Brokers – Tips and Strategies for Representing the FirmSan Diego, CA, Oct 28, 2019
- Strategies for Addressing New or Novel Damage TheoriesSan Diego, CA, Oct 28, 2019
- Recent Trends: Insurance Agent and Broker Error & OmissionsCleveland, OH, Apr 14, 2019
- Supervising Dually Registered RepresentativesLos Angeles, CA, Aug 14, 2018
- Update on Transactional Legal MalpracticeLas Vegas, NV, Jun 14, 2018
- Not All Public Policies Are Equal: The Supreme Court of Ohio Further Refines Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public PolicyMar 16, 2020
- Sep 3, 2019
- Specific Laws with Express Provisions Prohibiting Retaliation are Required in Ohio Wrongful Discharge Claims in Violation of Public PolicyFeb 13, 2019
- FLSA Tide Continues to Turn in Favor of Employers as SCOTUS Puts an End to the Narrow Construction of FLSA ExemptionsApr 30, 2018
- Seventh Circuit Breaks New Ground, Holding that Sexual Orientation is a Protected Characteristic Under Title VII of The Civil Rights ActMay 10, 2017
- Apr 25, 2017
J.D., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 2006
B.S.S.S., Ohio University, 2002
- 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