Picture of Mark J. Astarita Esq.

Mark J. Astarita, Esq.

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Phone: (212) 509-6544 Ext: 121
Fax: (212) 402-4120

11 Broadway #615
New York, New York 10004

25 Pompton Ave #101
Verona, New Jersey 07044


Mr. Astarita 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 formation, shareholder agreements and related litigation.

In addition, Mr. Astarita has extensive experience in the representation of Internet based businesses, including content providers, online trading platforms and podcast promoters and sponsors.


After graduating law school in 1981 Mr. Astarita joined a boutique securities litigation firm on Wall Street, representing 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, federal and state lawsuits, administrative actions, and arbitrations. In 2000 he formed a new firm with a white-collar criminal attorney, and in 2013 he joined Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC. He has successfully handled matters in state and federal courts, arbitrations and regulatory enforcement proceedings in 23 states, including over 600 arbitrations, during his career.

During his career, Mr. Astarita has represented over 60 brokerage firms and hundreds of financial professionals in their regulatory, litigation and employment issues. Mr. Astarita’s experience and knowledge of this highly specialized area of employment law enables him to provide guidance and assistance, to firms as well as professionals, in the negotiation of compensation packages and upfront loans, as well as severance agreements, promissory note settlements and restructuring, and non-compete waivers. Mr. Astarita has negotiated broker compensation agreements for individuals with every major Wall Street firm.

Mr. Astarita’s reputation as a securities lawyer is recognized among his peers and the media. He has been an AV rated attorney every year for the last 25 years. Various media sources have relied upon Mr. Astarita for commentary on issues relating to the securities laws and online legal issues, and he has been quoted in a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Law Journal, Ticker Magazine, Research Magazine, Registered Representative, On Wall Street, InvestmentNews.com, The Recorder, Legal Times, the New Jersey Star Ledger, the Internet Compliance Reporter, Investment Dealers’ Digest, Compliance Reporter, Financial NetNews, Securities Industry Daily, the Bergen Record and the New York Post.

Mr. Astarita is often an invited speaker at industry functions, was a regular guest on CNBC’s Power Lunch, was a member of the faculty for the Practicing Law Institute’s Securities Arbitration Seminar, has been a guest lecturer at Pace University’s Securities Arbitration Clinic


In July, 1995, Mr. Astarita created the The Securities Law Home Page, now known simply as SECLaw.com, the Internet site for information regarding United States securities and commodities law, including corporate finance, public offerings, stock broker regulation, securities arbitration and related topics. The site, which has been rated one of the Top 10 law firm web sites available on the Internet, and one of the top securities law blogs, is consistently rated “Best of the Web”. The site contains original articles and commentary of interest to participants in the United States financial markets, as well as attorneys and educators. The site receives over 6,000 unique visitors a month, making it one of the most popular legal topic sites in the world. Its monthly newsletter has over 4,000 opt-in subscribers.

  • Obtained decision from FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council which reversed a hearing Panel’s findings of violation, vacated all sanctions and dismissed the complaint.
  • Successfully defended broker-dealer in arbitration with hedge fund claiming 5 million dollars in losses for misrepresentations regarding firm’s abilities, platform, and expertise. Zero award for the Claimant.
  • Obtained six-figure award for broker against wire house for breach of contract, misrepresentations, fraudulent inducement, and unjust enrichment
  • Obtained an award of attorney’s fees and compensation for a broker against a brokerage firm for filing a false and malicious U-5.
  • Obtained arbitration award in favor of introducing broker against its clearing firm for breach of contract, tortious interference with contract and violation of industry standards and customs.
  • Obtained full dismissal of all FINRA charges after an enforcement hearing against a broker accused of altering firm records by following firm approved procedures.
  • Defended firm supervisor in SEC Administrative Proceeding involving allegations of failure to supervise a group of brokers. Prosecuted an appeal of the adverse decision to the SEC, including oral argument before the Commission. After remand to the Office of Administrative Law Judges, negotiated a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Obtained a full dismissal of a wire houses’ claims against a broker for a $750,000 promissory note.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement for broker and firm of claims by an octogenarian for allegedly unsuitable variable life insurance policy and obtained expungement of the arbitration with a finding that the transaction was suitable and that the claimant was fully informed of the risks of the investment.
  • Successfully defended and obtained a denial of a claim by a CPA customer against a broker-dealer, where the customer claimed unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, failure to supervise, respondeat superior, negligent misrepresentation, unauthorized trading, negligence, fraud, and control person liability. Complete denial of all claims
  • Obtained a full dismissal of a wire houses’ claims against a broker for a $750,000 promissory note.
  • Obtained expungement of complaint from branch manager’s CRD records after settlement of a customer’s claims against the broker and firm.
  • Successfully defended brokerage firm in customer claim for statutory attorney’s fees claimed in excess of $300,000, including bench trial, defending an appeal, and a second bench trial, resulting in an award of less than 15% of the total claim for costs and attorney’s fees.
  • Successfully defended broker-dealer and its principals with a full dismissal of multimillion dollar claims in arbitration by a family trust, as well as expungement of the claim from the broker’s registration records
  • Obtained full dismissal of arbitration claim against broker dealer for allegations of successor in interest to defunct broker dealer.
  • Defended broker in promissory note arbitration and obtained a 70% reduction in the outstanding balance due on the promissory note due to the firm’s failure to fulfill its obligations to the broker.
  • Represented disabled man and his family against major wire house for unsuitable recommendations, including writing naked put options. Obtained award against the firm and the broker for 1.6 million dollars, including $900,000 in punitive damages and attorney’s fees, and received full payment of the award.
  • Successfully represented CPA against major wire house for breach of referral agreement, obtained full compensation owed, an order requiring the firm to continue paying on referred clients, as well as attorneys’ fees related to the arbitration.
  • Obtained award in favor of a customer of 1.5 million dollars for unsuitable recommendation against hedge fund, broker and brokerage firm for unsuitable recommendation in mortgage-based fund.
  • Obtained compensatory damages and attorney’s fees against major wire house for excessive margin trading in customer account.
  • Represented broker-dealer defending 14 customer claims arising from ponzi schemeallegedly operated by the firm’s broker. Negotiated settlements with all of the customers on favorable terms.
  • Defended brokerage firm in 11 cases brought by one attorney for individual clients, ultimately successfully negating favorable settlements of all claims.
  • Represented Managing Director of European Equities vs. Member Firm (former employer) relating to claims of misrepresentations, undermining claimant’s professional relationships for Respondent firm and breach of contract. Obtained $750,000 award, plus interest for unpaid bonus and compensatory damages.
  • Successfully represented principals of NYSE member firm in 12 million dollar claim for fraud, misrepresenting and breach of contract in connection with the sale of a member firm, resulting in an award of zero against the principals.
  • Negotiated the settlement of dozens of promissory note cases and related counterclaims by broker against every major brokerage firm
  • AV Preeminent rated (the highest peer ranking) by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Served as the Chairman of the Legal Committee of the National Association of Investment Professionals
  • Member of the Glen Ridge Board of Adjustment for three years
  • Member of the Finance Committee and Trustee of the Glen Ridge Country Club, one of the oldest country clubs in the United States from 2009 to 2017.


Mr. Astarita received his Bachelor's degree in psychology from Queens College of the City University of New York and his Juris Doctor degree (Cum Laude) from New York Law School. In law school Mr. Astarita received a commencement award for the highest grades in the class in the law of evidence.


Mr. Astarita is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as all of the federal district courts in New York and New Jersey. In SEC and FINRA matters, an attorney is not required to be admitted in the jurisdiction where the case takes place, or where the parties reside.

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