Investor Advocacy Clinic to Present at Oct. 12 SEC Investor Advisory Committee Meeting

Representatives from the Georgia State Law Investor Advocacy Clinic will present to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee at its meeting Thursday, Oct. 12, in Washington, D.C.

Nicole G. Iannarone, clinic director and assistant clinical professor, and student intern Qudsia Shafiq (J.D. ’18), will provide an overview of the clinic’s advocacy efforts. David White, director, Investor Advocacy Project, Seton Hall University School of Law, will present on the same panel.

The Investor Advisory Committee advises the SEC on regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures and the effectiveness of disclosure. It also counsels the SEC on initiatives to promote investor confidence, as well as protect investor interests and the integrity of the securities marketplace.

“Presenting to the committee is a unique opportunity, and we are grateful for its invitation to describe how we help the regular investor,” Iannarone said. “We plan to describe the role we serve in the financial markets by providing economic justice to regular people who were trying to save for their future, the types of issues the regular investor faces and how we help them.”

The Investor Advocacy Clinic represents investors who lost money from broker misconduct but cannot afford or find legal representation because their claim is too small.

“It’s nearly impossible for regular investors to find a lawyer to help them if they have lost up to $100,000,” Iannarone said. “That is quite a significant sum, and our work representing them is an important investor protection mechanism.”

Under the supervision of Iannarone, clinic students handle all aspects of representation, including client in-take, interviewing, claim evaluation and preparation, settlement negotiations, and advocacy in mediation and arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Shafiq will provide her perspective of working with the clinic’s clients as a student attorney, sharing what she’s learned over the course of two semesters.

“I’m excited to share my experiences at the ground level of working with real people who tried their hardest to do what they were supposed to do – invest for retirement – but misplaced their trust,” Shafiq said. “By the time they get to us, we’re their last option. I want to share what that feels like and how important our work is.”

“Presenting to the committee is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the value clinics provide to regular investors. Our goal is to raise awareness of who we are, what we do and how we help,” Iannarone said. “We hope to spread the word about the successful program at Georgia State Law and several other schools to additional jurisdictions and increase our advocacy efforts.”

The Investor Advisory Committee was established under Section 911 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which authorizes the committee to submit findings and recommendations to the SEC. Members of the committee represent a wide variety of investor interests, including those of individual and institutional investors, senior citizens, and state securities commissions.

The meeting will be webcast live and archived on the committee’s web page.

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