Joel M. Wertman

Practice Areas:

Professional Liability, Labor and Employment, Securities Litigation and Arbitration, Privacy and Data Security, Insurance Agent Litigation, Real Estate Agent Litigation
Office Location: Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 433-1500 Fax: (215) 433-1501


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Joel M. Wertman is a partner in the firm's Philadelphia office. His practice focuses on disputes in the securities, insurance and real estate industries. He has represented clients in a wide range of litigation matters that include public customer disputes in state court, federal court and arbitration, as well as employment disputes seeking monetary and injunctive relief in state and federal courts. He also represents clients in regulatory enforcement matters initiated by the SEC, FINRA and state regulatory bodies.

In addition to Joel's focus on securities litigation, he is also experienced in cyber liability, cyber security and data breaches, with a particular focus on such issues for investment advisers and broker dealers. As well as his involvement in data security issues, Joel has presented at seminars on the topics of emerging trends in cyber security and he has written articles on the topic of best online security practices for financial advisors.

Joel has litigated claims involving a wide spectrum of investments including REITS, Tenants in Common, private placements, variable annuities, limited partnerships, mutual funds, individual equities and debt. He has handled litigation involving complex benefit plans such as 419 welfare benefit plans and 412(i) pension plans. As well, Joel has defended claims involving allegations of defamation, discrimination, and wrongful termination brought by former employees. He also has extensive experience representing institutional clients in bankruptcy court adversary proceedings.

Joel received his undergraduate degree in English from Johns Hopkins University where he was also the captain and a four-year member of the men's varsity basketball team. Joel earned his Juris Doctor from Temple University where he was also editor in chief of the Environmental Law and Technology Journal, and a member of Temple's mock trial team. While attending law school, Joel worked as a summer clerk for the Honorable Charles Smith, federal judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Joel is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Representative Decisions

  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award directing expungement of a customer complaint from the client's Central Registration Depository (CRD) records from FINRA panel after convincing the Panel that the relief was warranted due to the suitability of the underlying variable annuity purchase and argument on the intent behind FINRA's reporting guidelines for customer complaints.
  • Dismissal of NASD (now FINRA) Complaint prior to hearing in customer dispute alleging unsuitable recommendations as to surrender and exchange of annuity products.
  • Award of zero damages for FINRA dispute related to alleged damages stemming from recommendation of annuity products.
  • Numerous successful arguments in federal court with respect to requests for injunctive relief on behalf of broker dealer clients.
  • Participated in successful defense of numerous matters with significant exposure to include defense verdict in claim for damages for alleged investment advices related to participation in business entities which were outside business activities of the registered representative.


  • Broker-Dealer Current Events, 2017 Securities Litigation & Regulatory Update, Philadelphia Bar Association and New Jersey Bar Association, November 2, 2017
  • Unknown Perils of the DOL Rule, AON Insurance Company Group's 13th Annual Group Client Symposium, September 7, 2017
  • Cybersecurity and Implications for the Financial Services Industry, 11th Annual E&O Insurance ExecuSummit, June 21, 2017
  • Broker Dealer Developments and Perspectives on Cybersecurity, 2016 Securities Litigation & Regulatory Update, Philadelphia Bar Association and New Jersey Bar Association, November 10, 2016
  • The New Department of Labor Rule and the Best Interest Contract Exemption, Independent Broker Dealer Conference, Phoenix, AZ, September 28, 2016
  • Cybersecurity: Emerging Trends and the Current Regulatory Environment for Independent Financial Advisors and Independent Financial Services Firm, Financial Services Institute (FSI) webinar, September 22, 2016
  • Panel discussion on Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, Professional Liability Underwriting Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter Educational Event, June 2016
  • FINRA and SEC Audits: Focusing on Cybersecurity, Independent Broker Dealer Consortium Annual Conference, Miami, FL, October 22, 2015
  • Outside Counsel's Perspectives of the Evolution of Public Customer Litigation and Registered Representative's Best Practices for Risk Management, Concorde Investment Services Spring Conference, May 2014
  • Expungement of Customer Complaints, Protocol Transition Issues, Suitability Issues for Seniors and FINRA Arbitration Statistics, Financial Services Institute (FSI) webinar, November 2009
  • Best Practices for Insurance Agents and Brokers, Valley Forge Financial Group, Inc., June 2009