Lessons from the Option of Last Resort: The Overall Hearing Experience

By: Robert Noens, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

Welcome to my second and final five-part blog series. In my final semester in the Clinic, I finally got the opportunity to experience a very rare and valuable thing – a FINRA hearing. The one thing that everyone pictures when they call the Clinic, feel the need to sue their broker, or envision securities litigation, is also both rare and something most Clinic students will never get the opportunity to see. In fact, while the reasons for not getting a case all the way through a hearing may vary, ultimately, for one reason or another, only 13% of FINRA disputes will be decided by an arbitrator(s) upon the completion of a hearing.

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Translate This!: “Be careful with your investments, fruit leather is a volatile market right now.”

By: Julio Perez, Fall 2017 IAC Graduate Research Assistant

A good follow-up subject to liquidity is volatility, since they go hand in hand. Volatility refers to the up-and-down movement of the market, with drastic shifts either up or down in stock reflecting a higher volatility in the market during a defined period in time. Continue reading

Translate This!: “I recently took out a very risky bond with a high interest rate.”

By: Julio Perez,  Fall 2017 IAC Graduate Research Assistant

I have talked about “risk” so much in this blog series that I’m starting to develop semantic saturation, but, unsurprisingly, it is hard to talk about the difference between low and high interest rates without talking about risks.

The shortest yet least elucidating definition for interest rate I could find describes it as “the price paid for borrowing money expressed as a percentage rate over a period of time.” This definition is much clearer if you read it, not from the point of view of the investor, but of the entity you are investing in. Interest rates apply to you when you are lending money (by taking out a bond, for example). I guess it also does when you are borrowing, but let’s focus on investing.

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IEPs and 504 Plans: The Difference and the Impact on a Child’s SSI Claim

Paul Blackstock photoBy: Paul Blackstock, HeLP Clinic

Parents filing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability claims on behalf of their children may be asked whether their child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan at school.  These educational tools often indicate the level of help a child requires based on the severity of the child’s medical condition(s).  Although both IEPs and 504 Plans create formal plans for the child, these tools are often given different weight by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Continue reading

Translate This!: “You should reinvest all of the dividends from your stock.”

By: Julio Perez, Fall 2017 IAC Graduate Research Assistant

Dividends! If you are investing in a dividend paying stock, this is a word you’ll want to understand. A dividend is a portion of a company’s profit paid to shareholders of certain stocks. Companies tend to distribute their dividends to stockholders at scheduled intervals. Continue reading

My Clinic Story: Geniuses learn from other’s mistakes, smart people learn from their own mistakes, and stupid people never learn.

By: Robert Noens, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

This is it; my last Clinic blog post. It is a bittersweet event. I am excited to be done and move on to the next chapter of my life. However, I am grateful for all the wonderful real-world and practical experience the Clinic and Practicum have offered me over the past year and a half. Frankly, I will miss it.

I suppose reflecting back, I would leave any reader with this one message: listen to your parents. When I say this, I do mean it in the literal sense; however, I for the purposes of this article, I would rather people read and interpret the phrase for what it represents. For me, the phrase means listen to those who have come before you, those who have more experience, and those who have your best interest(s) in mind – that last element is perhaps the most important. The reason for that is because the people that fit the description above, are the people that will make your life easier. They know the results of different actions, and they have seen an immeasurable number of circumstances play out – many I am sure similar to your own. And ultimately, these are the people who are more often going to be right.

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Investor Advocacy Clinic’s Noens Serves as Co-Counsel in FINRA Arbitration

In October, an Atlanta attorney contacted Georgia State Law’s Investor Advocacy Clinic and asked it to co-counsel in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration case. Second semester clinic student Robert F. Noens (J.D. ’18) stepped up on behalf of the clinic to help represent an investor who lost money due to broker misconduct.

“Robert came onto the case during the run-up to the hearing – crunch time,” said Craig Kuglar, founding partner of Kuglar Law and a litigator specializing in securities arbitration.. “I treated him like any other co-counsel and assigned him direct examinations of the key witnesses.”

“As with litigation generally, it is rare to have a FINRA securities arbitration matter go to a full hearing,” said Nicole Iannarone, director of the Investor Advocacy Clinic. “After learning that our clinic students rarely had hearings, Craig generously reached out to us to give our students a chance to not only see a hearing but take a major role in it. We are so fortunate to practice in such a supportive community and cannot thank Craig enough for his role in mentoring our clinic students and sharing his years of expertise.” Continue reading