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.
Mr. Wertman has counselled and represented financial services companies, insurance agents, accountants, healthcare providers, IT companies, technology consulting firms, consulting firms, and employers regarding cybersecurity, data breach incidents, privacy and technology-related claims and issues. 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. While attending law school, Joel worked as a summer clerk for the Honorable Charles Smith, federal judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- 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
- Obtained favorable arbitration award directing expungement of six customer complaints from client’s CRD records after convincing Panel that relief was warranted as client was not involved in alleged sales practice violation involving defective proprietary products.
- Heinel v TIC, FINRA case number 17-01866. Obtained favorable arbitration award directing expungement of customer complaint from client’s CRD records after convincing Panel that relief was warranted as annuity at issue was determined to be suitable and client otherwise was not involved in alleged sales practice violations.
- Tranquilli v. TIC, FINRA case number 17-02059. Obtained favorable arbitration award directing expungement of customer complaint from client’s CRD records after convincing Panel that relief was warranted as principal protected and market linked notes at issue was determined to be suitable and client otherwise was not involved in alleged sales practice violations.
- Cassidy v TIC, FINRA case number 16-03694. Obtained favorable decision in which the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(1) for lack of standing as Plaintiff failed to plead a sufficiently concrete injury.
- Moore v. Highpoint, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94213 (D. NJ, June 5, 2018). Moore declined to find standing for an intangible harm occasioned by an alleged statutory violation. The Court noted that, “Plaintiff has not pled a violation of the FCRA or another statute that may be read to create standing by its mere violation…” Moore, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94213, at *14. In particular, the Court found that alleged statutory violations under the New Jersey Computer Related Offenses Act were insufficient to confer standing
- “New Jersey Supreme Court Permits Claim for Violation of the State’s Anti-Discrimination Law for an Employee’s Legal Use of Marijuana,” WSSLLP Alert, March 12, 2020
- Digital Currency and its Evolving Future of Litigation, Celesq AttorneysEd Center, December 18, 2019
- “Digital Currency and its Possible Future in Securities Litigation,” PLUS Journal, September 2019
- “Conflicts of Interest in Qualified Accounts Part 2 – The Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule Loses its Bite,” Aon Advisor Solutions, Fall 2017
- “The DOL Rule: Conflicts of Interest in Qualified Accounts, Part 1- the (Almost) Arrival of the DOL Fiduciary Rule,” Aon Advisor Solutions, Spring 2017
- “2016 FINRA Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter,” Mondaq.com, January 21, 2016
- “Supreme Court Provides Insight on Actionability of Future Claims Predicated on Statements of Opinion,” Westlaw Journal Securities Litigation & Regulation, April 16, 2015
- “Clearing the Record: Examining the Expungement Process,” Westlaw Journal Securities Litigation & Regulation, October 30, 2014
- “Financial Advisor Forecast: Stormy With Scattered Data Breaches,” Financial Advisor, June 23, 2014
- “FINRA Amendments to Discovery Guide: Need-to-Know Info for Claims,” PropertyCasualty360.com, December 10, 2013