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Bon mots

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra

"We do not distain to borrow wit or wisdom from any man who is capable of lending us either." Henry Fielding, Tom Jones

"In our complex society the accountant's certificate and the lawyer's opinion can be instruments for inflicting pecuniary loss more potent than the chisel or the crowbar." United States v. Benjamin, 328 F.2d 854, 862 (2d Cir. 1964)

Muni Adviser and Rating Agency Bars Not Retroactive Under Landgraf

John W. Lawton, IA Act Rel. 3513, December 13, 2012

Lawton was associated with an investment adviser and was enjoined and criminally convicted based on anti-fraud violations.

The ALJ barred him from associating with any adviser, broker, dealer, muni dealer, or transfer agent. The trial judge declined to enter bars from associating with a muni adviser or rating organization ruling that those bars were impermissibly retroactive under Landgraf v USI Film Products. Those sanctions were created by Dodd-Frank which was enacted after Lawton's conduct occurred.

The Division appealed and the Commission majority agreed that under Landgraf the muni adviser and rating agency bars were not retroactive. This was a 3-2 ruling. The dissenters promised to file opinions at a later date.