The Investor Advocacy Clinic’s work includes legal representation of regular people who have been harmed by their broker’s actions. We bring legal actions seeking damages to help make our clients whole. But our work doesn’t stop there. We focus on education so investors will never find themselves needing our legal services. We are actively engaged in the regulatory process, monitoring for new regulations and laws that might impact regular investors and critically analyzing the proposal to share with regulators how proposed laws might impact small investors.
Recently, clinic director Nicole Iannarone was quoted by Investment News in the article Elder Abuse Prevention by Advisers Depends on Their Firms’ Response to New Rule. The article outlined the SEC’s approval of a new FINRA rule aimed at preventing financial exploitation of adults who may have diminished capacity. Professor Iannarone discussed that while FINRA’s new rule is a welcome addition to the regulatory scheme, in order to protect investors fully it should go even further. Her comments echoed those of Investor Advocacy Clinic student interns David Hsu and Christopher Pugh, Jason Robinson, and Darius Wood who drafted comments concerning the initial rule proposal.
Professor Iannarone’s academic research focuses investor protection and legal ethics. She recently worked with her clinical colleagues at other institutions to draft a series of articles concerning the impact of diminished capacity on all parties in investing and securities arbitration proceedings. The first piece, A 360 Degree View of Roles and Responsibilities Concerning Diminished Capacity: Financial Advisers’ Obligations to Clients, Lawyers Representing Clients, and Lawyers Preparing their Practices, co-authored with University of Miami Investor Rights Clinic Director Teresa Verges and Pace Law School Investor Rights Clinic Director Elissa Germaine provides an overview of the problem of diminished capacity in investment transactions and introduces three articles in a series. The first article in the series, The Broker-Dealer’s Role in the Detection and Prevention of Elderly Financial Exploitation, written by Professor Verges, attacks the problem from the broker dealer’s perspective. The second article, Lawyers’ Obligations When Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity, written by Professor Germaine, outlines lawyers’ responsibilities when working with clients who may be suffering from diminished capacity. The final article, written by Professor Iannarone, Keeping Our Houses in Order: Lawyers’ Obligations Concerning Our Own or Our Colleagues’ Inability to Competently Represent Clients, addresses lawyers’ responsibilities to protect their own practices from the impact of their own potential diminished capacity.
The Georgia State Law Investor Advocacy Clinic continues to monitor regulatory developments that might impact regular investors and conduct research on cutting-edge issues facing investors.