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Securities Appeals

SEC Order, Initial Decision, and Securities Fraud Litigation Appeals

John W. Sellers
Attorney John W. Sellers
Securities Appeals Team Lead
Former DOJ Trial Attorney
envelope iconContact John directly

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can impose substantial penalties on companies, their owners and their executives. It can also penalize brokerage firms, brokers, and investment advisors. Companies, firms, and individuals can face substantial liability in securities fraud litigation as well, and SEC enforcement actions can even lead to criminal prosecution in some cases.

At Oberheiden P.C., we defend clients during SEC investigations and other civil and criminal securities enforcement proceedings. We also represent clients in securities appeals.

If you have received an order or initial decision from the SEC, or if you (or your company or firm) has suffered a loss in civil or criminal securities enforcement litigation, we can help. Our lawyers have extensive experience in this area, and we handle SEC enforcement matters in Washington D.C. as well as civil and criminal securities appeals in federal courts nationwide. Regardless of the circumstances at hand, you have options—as long as you act in time—and our lawyers can help you pursue an appeal on all available grounds.

Experienced Legal Counsel for Securities Appeals

When dealing with the SEC or challenging the outcome of civil or criminal securities fraud litigation in federal district court, experience matters. At Oberheiden P.C., we have the experience required to provide effective representation at the appellate level. Not only do we have significant experience in the areas of securities litigation and SEC defense, but we maintain a robust appellate practice as well.

If you need to appeal the outcome of an SEC investigation or securities litigation matter, this is the level of experience you need on your side. The SEC and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have teams of lawyers and agents who are committed to maximizing the government’s recovery on behalf of aggrieved investors and holding bad actors accountable for fraud. To level the playing field, you need a legal team of your own with the knowledge, insights, and capabilities required to expose flaws in the government’s prosecution of your case and obtain a reversal on appeal.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

We Handle All Types of Securities Fraud Appeals

Different types of cases require different types of appeals. When facing an SEC order, an SEC initial decision, or an unfavorable verdict in civil or criminal court, one of the first steps toward obtaining a reversal is to timely preserve your appellate rights.

The amount of time you have to preserve your appellate rights—and the steps you need to take to preserve them—depend on the nature of the appeal you need to file. At Oberheiden P.C., we can act immediately to preserve your (or your company’s or firm’s) appellate rights if necessary, and then we can take all of the additional steps that are necessary to maximize your chances of a favorable appellate resolution. We take this same time-conscious and comprehensive approach to all types of securities appeals, including:

  • Appeals to the SEC – If you have received an initial decision from the SEC’s Office of Administrative Judges, your next step may involve filing an appeal directly with the SEC. While these SEC appeals are less formal than securities fraud appeals filed in federal court, they are still time-sensitive and high-risk legal procedures that require experienced legal representation.
  • Appeals in Federal Court – If you (or your business or firm) has received an Order from the SEC or suffered a loss in court, then you may need to pursue a judicial appeal. Depending on the nature and current status of your case, this may involve either filing in a federal district court or in one of the U.S. Courts of Appeal. In federal judicial appeals, the timelines and procedural requirements vary between civil and criminal cases, so it is extremely important to hire experienced appellate counsel who is familiar with the applicable Rules of Procedure.

Within our securities appeals practice, we represent individuals, companies, and firms in cases involving all types of alleged civil and criminal securities law violations. This includes (but is not limited to) cases involving allegations such as:

Corporate Accounting and Disclosure Violations

Public companies registered with the SEC are subject to extensive accounting and disclosure requirements. Failing to meet these requirements—even unintentionally—can lead to swift SEC enforcement action and substantial penalties for companies and their executives. We handle appeals of SEC orders, initial decisions, and civil and criminal verdicts at all levels. These highly-technical cases can present a variety of options for appeal, and formulating an organized and cohesive appellate strategy is the first step toward successfully seeking a reversal.

Brokerage Firm, Broker, and Investment Advisor Fraud

We represent brokerage firms, advisory firms, and individual brokers and advisors in SEC, civil, and criminal appeals. We handle cases involving all types of alleged fraud, from charging excessive fees and churning customers’ accounts to misappropriating customers’ funds. We handle Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) matters and state licensing agency appeals on behalf of firms, brokers, and advisors as well. Oftentimes, these matters will go hand-in-hand, and avoiding unnecessary consequences will require a coordinated approach focused on the relevant issues and standard of proof in each individual matter.

Sale of Unregistered Securities

While there are several exceptions to (and exemptions from) the federal securities registration requirements, these only apply in limited circumstances. As a result, the SEC and DOJ prosecutors frequently pursue charges related to the alleged unlawful sale of unregistered securities. Here, too, there are several potential grounds for filing an appeal; and, while the standard of review on appeal won’t necessarily allow for a retrial of the substantive issues decided at the lower level, demonstrating that an unregistered sale complied with the law will still be an effective appellate strategy in many cases.

Insider Trading

We have significant experience representing corporate executives and other clients in federal insider trading cases. If you have been convicted of insider trading, we can use our experience to examine all aspects of your trial and determine what grounds you have available to pursue a federal securities appeal. We handle both civil and criminal insider trading cases, and we represent both “tippers” and “tippees” at all levels of the federal appellate process.

Market Manipulation, Ponzi Schemes, and Other Securities Law Violations

Along with the types of federal securities appeals discussed above, we also handle cases involving allegations of market manipulation, operating Ponzi schemes, and committing other types of securities law violations. Regardless of the allegations against you or your company, if you need to appeal the outcome of an SEC enforcement action or a federal securities fraud trial, you can rely on the experience of the federal securities lawyers and appellate attorneys at Oberheiden P.C. to help you seek a favorable resolution.

Again, these are just examples of the types of securities appeals we handle. Regardless of the nature of your (or your company’s or firm’s) case, we strongly encourage you to contact us immediately to discuss your appeal with a senior lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. in confidence.

FAQs: Filing a Securities Appeal with the SEC or in Federal Court

What does it mean if I have received an initial decision from the SEC?


If you have received an initial decision from the SEC, this means that the SEC’s Office of Administrative Law Judges has found you (or your company or firm) liable for a federal securities law violation. Usually, initial decisions are rendered by “default,” or as a result of a failure to participate in the SEC’s adjudicative process or attend a hearing. Initial decisions are subject to appeal, as long as you act in time, and you will want to discuss your situation with a securities appeals lawyer promptly.

How do I appeal an SEC order?


The steps involved in appealing an SEC order depend on the nature of the order, the timing of your appeal, and various other factors. If you need to appeal an SEC order, you should consult with an experienced federal securities appeals lawyer as soon as possible.

Is it possible to successfully appeal a federal securities fraud conviction?


Yes, it is possible to successfully appeal a federal securities fraud conviction. Of course, the likelihood of success in any particular case depends on the facts and circumstances involved. At Oberheiden P.C., we have had significant success representing clients at the appellate level, and our lawyers can help you make an informed decision about your next steps.

What is the statute of limitations for federal securities fraud?


Expiration of the statute of limitations for federal securities fraud can provide grounds for an appeal in some cases. Under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the statute of limitations is two years for most violations. However, other statutes of limitations may apply as well, and some types of securities law violations are also subject to a statute of repose which further limits the federal government’s ability to pursue prosecution.

What is the process for filing a federal securities appeal?


The process for filing a federal securities appeal depends on whether you need to file your appeal with the SEC or in federal court. For judicial appeals, it also depends on whether your case is civil or criminal in nature. Our attorneys can advise you of your next steps, and we can evaluate all potential grounds for filing a federal securities appeal.

Speak with a Senior Securities Appeals Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.

If you need to know more about filing a federal securities appeal, we encourage you to contact us promptly. Call 888-680-1745 or tell us how we can help online to schedule an appointment today.

Why Clients Trust Oberheiden P.C.

  • 2,000+ Cases Won
  • Experienced Trial Attorneys
  • Former Department of Justice Trial Attorney
  • Former Federal Prosecutors, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Former Agents from FBI, OIG, DEA
Email Us 888-680-1745