The work of securities attorneys encompasses bonds, stock, and debentures issued by governments and companies in order to prove ownership, as well as the conditions of payment of stock dividends or final pay-off. Securities stand for the corporation’s assets and/or profits or the government’s credit that secure future payment. In contrast to transactions, where the security is offered in the form of a specific property (like a house mortgage or car), dividends for securities strongly depend on the company’s profitability or the success of the governmental agency management.
Securities attorneys must be aware of federal and state laws as they both cover securities. On the federal level securities laws are regulated by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), established in 1934 by the Securities Exchange Act. Two other main federal laws are the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”) and Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Investment Company Act”).
State laws also regulate securities in addition to federal laws. State laws, or the so called “Blue Sky Laws” typically protect the investors who incur money loss or are defrauded in the securities markets much more than the federal laws.