GEORGE BRUNELLE is a member of the firm with extensive background in securities litigation, arbitration, mediation, regulatory investigations, disciplinary proceedings, broker-dealer compliance and corporate governance. Mr. Brunelle graduated cum laude from Rutgers University, earned his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1975, and is admitted to practice before the State Courts of New York and Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Previously, Mr. Brunelle was employed by the New York Stock Exchange, managing a staff of attorneys and conducting complex investigations and enforcement proceedings before the NYSE Hearing Board, the Exchange's Board of Directors, the SEC, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Upon leaving the NYSE, Mr. Brunelle became a partner of Goldstein & Brunelle, P.C., and in 1986, he founded Brunelle & Hadjikow, P.C.
Selected Cases and Decisions
(Each case depends upon its facts and circumstances, and past results are no guarantee of a similar outcome in the future.)
- Raiding case, for claimant. Secured large damage award for brokerage firm “raided” by its own personnel and a competing brokerage firm. [FINRA Arb. Award 11-00248 (2016)].
- Raiding case, for respondent. Secured dismissal of raiding claim by brokerage firms against individual brokers and another firm. [FINRA Arb. Award 08-01879 (2011)].
- “Best Execution” and fiduciary duty claims. Obtained “Not Guilty” verdict in FINRA disciplinary proceeding against Head Trader, securing dismissal of alleged violations of fiduciary duty and “best execution” claims under SEC and FINRA Rules. [FINRA Discip. Proceeding 2012033467301 (2015)].
- Regulation M Settlement. Obtained favorable settlement of SEC charges under Regulation M and SEC Rule 105. SEC Rel. No. 72520 (SEC July 2, 2014).
- Investment adviser trading and disclosure allegations. Secured favorable settlement of SEC allegations against Registered Investment Adviser for trading and disclosure violations over a period of years. [SEC Advisers Act Rel. 4243 (2015)].
- “Bad Actor” relief. Secured SEC waiver of “bad actor” disqualification for registered investment adviser. https://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/cf-noaction/2015/nam-102615-506d.pdf.
- Placement fee dispute. Dismissal obtained in issuer’s claim of inadequate performance by brokerage firm in a private placement. [FINRA Arb. Award 15-01221 (2015)].
- Finder’s fee claim. Dismissal of “finder’s fee” claim against a brokerage firm. [FINRA Arb. Award 14-01860 (2015)].
- Regulation SHO and market making claim dismissed. Secured dismissal of claim against market making firm under Regulation SHO and securities exchange rules. [FINRA Arb. Award 09-04797 (2012)].
- Expungement claim dismissed. Successful defense of brokerage firm in an “expungement” claim seeking changes in BrokerCheck commentary. [FINRA Arb. Award 09-01863].
- Market maker acquittal in NYSE enforcement proceeding. Secured acquittal on regulator’s claims that NYSE market maker (specialist) had failed to properly represent agency orders and maintain a fair and orderly market. [NYSE Hearing Bd. Decis. 09-10 (2009)].
- Subpoena of client records quashed. Persuaded U.S. District Court (SDNY) to quash subpoenas issued for the records of a brokerage firm client. [2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90867 and 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32421].
- Market manipulation charges dismissed. Not Guilty verdict secured in case in which a broker had been accused manipulative transactions and other serious misconduct. Obtained affirmance on appeal. [NYSE Hearing Board and Appeals Comm. Decis. 07-148 (2008)].
- SEC trading sanctions reversed. Persuaded U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to reverse, as an “abuse of discretion” by the SEC, disciplinary sanctions against broker who had been accused of trading violations. [406 F.3d 179 (2d Cir. 2005)].
- Market manipulation charges withdrawn. Persuaded securities exchange to withdraw its charges of market manipulation against a floor broker. [Amex Case No. 01-07 (2004)].
- Executive compensation claim defeated. Defeated disputed claims by brokerage firm employee for unpaid executive compensation. [1998 NYSE Arb. Dec. LEXIS 110 (2000)].
- Customer unsuitability, fraud and unauthorized trading claims defeated. Obtained dismissal of customer claims that a brokerage firm had engaged in fraud, made unsuitable recommendations and engaged in unauthorized trading. [1998 NASD Arb. LEXIS 724 (Sept. 7, 1999)].
- Executive compensation claim defeated. Successfully defended brokerage firm against executive’s claim for additional compensation. [1999 NASD Arb. LEXIS 457 (1999)].
- Customer claims of unsuitability and unauthorized trading dismissed. Successfully defended against customer claims of unsuitability and unauthorized trading. [1998 NASD Arb. LEXIS 323].
- Successful claim for recovery of investor losses. Won reimbursement of customer’s losses caused by negligent trading recommendations, together with an award of attorneys’ fees. [1996 NYSE Arb. Dec. LEXIS 242].
- Acquittal of “front-running” allegations. Secured “not guilty” decision in favor of broker who had been accused of trading ahead of his customer’ orders and of violating short selling restrictions. [NYSE Disc. Action 97-93].
- Recovery of brokerage firm losses resulting from customer fraud. Secured repayment of substantial losses by a brokerage firm as a result of fraudulent activities by a customer agent. [1994 NYSE Arb. Decis. LEXIS 645].
- Successful defense of clearing firm against claim by introducing firm. Obtained dismissal of introducing firm’s claim against clearing firm alleging a premature liquidation of trading collateral. [NASD Arbitration No 94-00191].
- Acquittal of brokerage firm on all serious charges. Obtained Not Guilty verdict on all major charges in a case in which prosecutors had alleged major violations involving injury to multiple customers. [NYSE Hearing Bd. Decision 1993 NYSE Disc. Action LEXIS 146].
- Acquittal of broker charged with illegal “wash sales.” All claims of manipulative and fictitious trading against the broker were dismissed. [NYSE Disc. Action 92-163].
- Broker found Not Guilty of lying to the NYSE. Broker had been accused of making false statements to an NYSE Floor Official about a trading situation. He was found Not Guilty. [NYSE Disc. Action 92-119].
“Arbitration Forum-Selection Clauses that Do Not Include FINRA,” Securities Arbitration Commentator, Vol. 2016, No. 6 (Nov. 2016).
“Rulemaking Petition [to the SEC] Regarding Complex Securities Arbitrations,” SEC File No. 4-702 (July 19, 2016), available on the SEC’s website at https://www.sec.gov/rules/petitions/2016/petn4-702.pdf.
"Judicial Proceedings in Aid of Arbitration," N.Y. Practicing Law Institute seminar on Securities Arbitration (1991).
"The Papilsky Rule and the Emerging Antitrust Dimension of the Securities Exchange Act," Securities Regulation Law Journal, Spring 1981
"The Lost Tender Offer Opportunity and Section 14(e)," Securities Regulation Law Journal (Fall 1981).
"The Shores Case – Expansion of the ‘Fraud on the Market Doctrine," Securities Regulation Law Journal (Winter 1982).
"Misappropriated Market Information and the Purchaser-Seller Doctrine," Securities Regulation Law Journal (Summer 1982).