James D. Sallah, Esq.Partner
Mr. Sallah is an AV Preeminent® rated attorney who concentrates on securities and commodity futures regulation and enforcement, broker-dealer compliance and defense, receivership litigation, whistleblower claims, securities arbitration, and business litigation.PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Since leaving the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004, Mr. Sallah has represented national and regional brokerage firms, as well as publicly traded companies and individuals, in a variety of matters, including SEC, FINRA, stock exchange, and state regulatory investigations, Congressional Sub-Committee investigations and hearings, internal investigations, federal and state lawsuits, administrative actions, and arbitrations. He has successfully handled matters through trial, arbitration, and regulatory enforcement proceedings.
Mr. Sallah’s reputation as a securities lawyer is recognized among his peers. Each year since 2011, he has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyer in the area of Securities Litigation and among Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. Moreover, Mr. Sallah has been recognized in the South Florida Legal Guide each year since 2008 in the field of Securities Litigation and Arbitration. In 2009 the Daily Business Review selected Mr. Sallah as the “Most Effective Lawyer” in South Florida in the area of Securities Law.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Sallah was a Senior Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in Miami, Florida. During his tenure at the SEC, Mr. Sallah handled investigations and litigation in both federal court and administrative forums, including cases involving fraudulent securities offerings, Ponzi schemes, market manipulations, municipal bonds, research analyst conflicts, public company disclosure and periodic reports, and broker-dealer and investment adviser regulation.
Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Sallah was Assistant Corporate Counsel for Raymond James Financial, Inc., the largest brokerage institution in the Southeastern United States. While at Raymond James, he represented its broker-dealer subsidiaries and their associated persons in a variety of matters, including litigation and arbitration.RECENT SUCCESSES
- Represented whistleblower in matter that led to SEC enforcement action against two large brokerage-firms; whistleblower awarded maximum amount available (30%) to whistleblowers under SEC guidelines.
- Successfully negotiated dismissal of SEC complaint on behalf of relief defendant following filing of enforcement action – SEC v. ECareer Holdings, Inc., et al., Case No. 15-80446-Civ-Cohn/Seltzer (S.D. Fla.)
- Obtained dismissal, with prejudice, of Section 17(b) claim on behalf of defendant in SEC enforcement case – SEC v. Recycle Tech, Inc., et al., Case No. 12-21656-Civ-Lenard/O’Sullivan (S.D. Fla.)
- Represented Miami doctor in an insider trading case brought by the SEC in federal court. After a two-week jury trial, the doctor was found not liable - SEC v. De La Maza, et al., Case No. 09-21977 (S.D. Fla.)
- Successfully argued dismissal of shareholder suit in federal court alleging insider trading Kamin, et al. v. Acord, et al., Case No. 09-22829-Civ-Jordan (S.D. Fla.)
- Represented nominee for Commissioner of Financial Regulation for the State of Florida in FINRA Enforcement Hearing - Dept. of Enforcement v. Carreno, No. 2006005546007. All claims against Respondent were dismissed, with prejudice.
- Represented multiple claimants/plaintiffs in multi-week FINRA arbitration hearing resulting in $7.5 million dollar award against the broker – Paula Casper, et al. v. Gary Gross, FINRA Case No. 07-00624.
- Defense of a large regional brokerage firm in SEC investigation of firm's institutional trading desk, market making activities, and syndicate department (declination letter by SEC)
- Defense of CFO of publicly-traded company in SEC investigation of his conduct following company's restatement of earnings (declination letter by SEC)
- Defense of high-profile South Florida businessman in SEC insider trading investigation (declination letter by SEC)
- Defense judgment in state court in favor of four departing brokers sued by a large, multi- national brokerage firm for violation of restrictive covenants
Mr. Sallah has extensive experience in matters involving court-appointed receiverships and proceedings, including serving as the following:
- Court-appointed Receiver in Goerz, David V. Stocket, Inc. (15th Judicial Circuit of Florida Civil Division Case No. 50-2018-CA-011965-MB)
- Court-appointed Receiver in Brandon Leidel, et al. vs. Project Investors, Inc. d/b/a Crptsy, et al., (S.D. Fla. Case No. 16-CV-80060-MARRA) in connection with a bitcoin matter.
- Court-appointed Receiver in State of Florida, et al. v. Abeo Investments, LLC, et al., (18th Judicial Circuit of Florida Case No. 2013-CA-001773-16-K) in connection with $11 million dollar Ponzi scheme.
- Court-appointed Receiver in SEC v. JCS Enterprises, Inc., et al, (S.D. Fla. Case No. 14- CV-80468-DLM) in connection with $80 million dollar Ponzi scheme.
- Court-appointed Corporate Monitor in Amin v. OM Global Investment Fund LLC, et al. (Case No. 13-18620 CA 13) in connection with a hedge fund fraud in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court
- Court-appointed Receiver in Katz v. MRT Holdings, et al. (S.D. Fla., Case No. 07-CV- 61438-JIC) in connection with multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme
- Special Counsel to Receiver in CFTC v. Oasis International Group, Limited, et al. (M.D. Fla. Case No. 8:19-CV-886-T-33SPF)
- Counsel to Receiver in SEC v. Natural Diamonds Investment Co., et al. (S.D. Fla. Case No. 9:19-CV-80633- Rosenberg).
- Counsel to Receiver appointed by Puerto Rico Insurance Commissioner to prosecute case against international investment bank in Newport Bonding and Surety Co., Inc. v. UBS Financial Services, Inc. (FINRA Case No. 17-01317).
- Special Counsel to the Receiver in SEC v. Aubrey Lee Price, et al., Case No. 1:12-cv-2296-TCB (N.D. Ga.) and Melanie E. Damian, Esq., as Court-Appointed Receiver for PFG, LLC, et al. v. Convergex Execution Solutions, LLC, et al., FINRA Case No. 16-00669.
- Special Counsel to the Receiver in CFTC v. LaSalle International Clearing Corp., et al. (S.D. Fla. Case No. 09-80765-Civ-Dimitrouleas/Snow)
- Special Counsel to the Receiver in SEC v. KS Advisors, Inc., et al. (M.D. Fla. Case No. 2:04-CV-1005-FtM-29DNF) to investigate and prosecute claims brokerage firm in connection with multi-million dollar hedge fund fraud
- Independent Consultant In the Matter of vFinance Investments, Inc. (SEC Rel. No. 51530 April 12, 2005) to review, revise, and test supervisory procedures in connection with broker-dealer's market making/trading activities
- AV Preeminent rated (the highest peer ranking) by Martindale-Hubbell
- Adjunct Professor, University of Miami School of Law, SEC Enforcement Seminar
- Commissioner, Fifteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission - Appointed by Governor Ronald DeSantis - 2022 to a 4-year term
- Florida Bar Grievance Committee 2015-2017 term
- Vice-Chair, Financial Services Committee, Florida Bar, 1999-2000
- Executive Committee, Business Law Section, Florida Bar, 1999-2000
- Director, University of Miami School of Law Alumni Association
- Member of the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers
- Arbitrator for FINRA and National Futures Association
- Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni
- Received SEC Chairman's Award for Excellence 2002
- SEC Southeast Regional Office's 2001 nominee for the Ellen Ross Award (honors Enforcement attorney ho demonstrates exemplary commitment, enthusiasm, and performance)
Mr. Sallah received his Bachelor's degree (Summa Cum Laude) and Master's degree from Ohio University and his Juris Doctor degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Miami School of Law. During law school, Mr. Sallah was a member of the University of Miami Law Review.BAR MEMBERSHIPS AND JURISDICTIONS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
Mr. Sallah is a member of the Florida and Colorado Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice in the state courts of both, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida, the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Northern District of Illinois.PUBLICATIONS