As we have been saying in this space for many years, getting a Rule 8210 Notice from FINRA can be a jarring event. If you have received an 8210 notice, you should take it seriously, as well as immediate steps to develop your best course of action to comply with the request. An 8210 Notice is a subpoena from FINRA that is typically sent to registered representatives in connection with an informal inquiry that does not have to be reported on your form U4. When you first receive an 8210 notice, FINRA is likely trying to determine if there have been any violations of securities and/or industry rules and/or regulations. You should notify your compliance officer, as they will likely have already received a copy from FINRA, but being transparent is important.
It is important to meet with an attorney as soon as possible to determine the best ways in which to protect your interests during the process. All involved parties will not necessarily share the same interests, i.e., your firm and/or supervisor may have their own self-preservation interests. As part of the 8210 notice, you will be required to answer a list of questions (interrogatories) and produce sometimes a wide range of documents, both business and personal. The attorneys at Malecki Law are experienced in defending FINRA registered representatives and firms in FINRA disciplinary matters and can work with you in responding to interrogatories and assist you with your document production using state of the art electronic discovery tools.
In working with your attorney to respond to interrogatories and produce documents you should also start to prepare for a potential “on the record” interview (or “OTR” for short). OTRs before FINRA involve sitting in a conference room with investigators and answering their questions under oath. You should have your attorney prepare and accompany you to an OTR. While not all cases involve an OTR, many do. Experienced counsel will know the best way to couch what happened with the right language and explanation. Furthermore, it is important to identify and explain mitigating circumstances as soon as possible before enforcement decisions are made.
Failure to cooperate with FINRA is likely to lead to FINRA suspending you from your firm and from the industry. Moreover, even if you leave the industry, a publicly searchable “bar” from being licensed with FINRA could have ramification in many other businesses, job opportunities and will be on Google for the rest of your life (and beyond). Consulting with an experience attorney could be the best move that you make when faced with such a potentially career-changing event. The attorneys at Malecki Law have experience representing individuals in regulatory actions before FINRA as well as the SEC. Contact us for a free consultation. Various hourly-billing and flat-fee based options are available to make smart decisions from inception to the completion of your matter.
As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, nothing provided herein should be construed as legal advice and/or used as a substitute for advice of competent counsel.