Martin H. Kaplan is recognized as one of the premier white collar and regulatory attorneys in the United States. Marty is the Managing Partner of Gusrae Kaplan, a firm he co-founded in 1975. Marty brings to clients nearly four decades of experience litigating highly sophisticated matters before state and federal courts, administrative forums, regulatory bodies and in mediation and arbitration settings. Much of Marty’s practice involves investigations and complex enforcement proceedings before the United States Attorney’s Office, SEC, CFTC, various exchanges and FINRA, offices with which he has an established reputation and substantial and regular contact.
As a veteran securities litigator with an enviable track record, Marty represents a broad range of participants in the financial services industry in regulatory and enforcement matters, internal and law enforcement investigations, negotiating complex settlements with FINRA and the SEC and employment, partnership and customer disputes. Marty also has a strong white collar practice and has successfully defended numerous clients in significant criminal matters. In addition to his work on behalf of major financial institutions and their officers and directors, Marty has particular expertise representing broker-dealers in sophisticated matters and counts among his longstanding clients many of the industry’s significant participants. By way of example, Marty recently secured a precedent-setting decision before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which ruled that FINRA cannot bring civil actions to collect fines it levies in disciplinary actions. This hard fought, decade-long battle on behalf of a prominent broker-dealer will have a game-changing impact on the regulatory landscape.
Marty regularly and creatively overcomes almost impossible obstacles for his securities industry clients. In one matter, Marty successfully lobbied the NYSE and SEC during a window period causing the NYSE to issue an immediately effective rule change interpreting a prior rule in a manner highly favorable to his brokerage firm client. In another, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and vacated with prejudice disciplinary sanctions that had been imposed and affirmed by the NASD and sustained by the SEC. In another successful Second Circuit reversal, the court determined, favorable to Marty’s registered representative client, that arbitration claimant investors in pooled fund were not necessarily “customers” for purposes of NASD compulsory arbitration. Marty also caused bail to be attached for a client in a civil proceeding, a ploy rejected by the United States District Court but successfully vindicated at the Second Circuit, which reversed and established the validity of that procedure for civil actions related to the criminal proceeding.
Leveraging his intimate knowledge of the brokerage industry, Marty has acted as an independent compliance consultant approved by FINRA and the State of Connecticut to review and revise procedures at broker-dealers, to review trading and account activities, and to verify compliance with the securities laws, FINRA regulations and industry practices.
Marty earned his law degree from New York Law School and his BA from the City University of New York. In addition to his many accolades, Marty has been peer-rated, as determined by the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell directory, as AV Preeminent, the highest rating.
Coordinated defense of action brought by FINRA (then-NASD) to enforce collection of its disciplinary fine, causing case to be thrown out of state court by the New York Court of Appeals (state’s highest court), whereupon filed for client a declaratory judgment action in federal district court, ultimately successful at the United States Court of Appeals in Manhattan by landmark ruling that while FINRA can impose a fine, it cannot enforce collection of its fines.
Successfully represented minority owner in over-the-counter pharmaceutical company in corporate dissolution action and valuation trial in New York State court, obtaining seven-figure recovery and an additional six-figure recovery on appeal.
Defended brokerage firm principal in NASD disciplinary proceeding, appeal within NASD, review at SEC, and win at United States Court of Appeals in Manhattan reversing and vacating all sanctions, with prejudice.
Defended short-seller brokerage firm and principal in large complex multi-party NASD disciplinary proceeding, reportedly involving one of the largest records in such proceedings.
Represented victims of multimillion dollar selling-away scheme by Merrill Lynch broker, obtaining NYSE arbitration award said to be second-largest of the year.
Represented claimant in NYSE arbitration against Merrill Lynch for investment in European Collars, resulting in award said to be third-largest of NYSE arbitration that year.
Represented victim of securities fraud scheme, successfully attaching bail funds and establishing at the United States Court of Appeals in Manhattan the validity of attaching bail in related civil cases.
Defended broker at major broker-dealer in NASD arbitration, successfully challenging the ongoing arbitration in court, where the United States Court of Appeals in Manhattan agreed there were fact issues as to whether claimants were customers, reversing the court below and effectively removing client from the arbitration, leaving the firms to settle with claimants in a manner that included client within its scope.
Represented trader in suit against trading firm, through hard-fought bench trial, in New York State Supreme Court Commercial Division, obtaining judgment in client’s favor.
Successfully and intensively lobbied the NYSE and SEC for NYSE to issue an immediately effective rule change interpreting a prior rule in a manner highly favorable to brokerage firm client.
Represented successor to one of the largest discount brokerage firms on the West Coast, and its key employees, in litigation in New York State Supreme Court Commercial Division, seeking performance payments due after sale of firm to Toronto-Dominion Bank, resulting in favorable settlement.
Defended short-selling firm in SIPC liquidation adversary proceeding involving forced buy-ins and plenary claims.
Took over defense of day-trading brokerage firm in out-of-state suit by its data processing provider, coordinated federal bankruptcy filing, removing dispute to bankruptcy court in New York, and by motion there successfully limited damages, while coordinating countersuit by clearing firm against data processing firm.
Represented minority shareholders in action seeking corporate dissolution and derivative claims against an independent fuel oil distributor in the New York Metropolitan area. The minority shareholders continue to be represented by the firm in connection with their ownership interests.