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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

Judge Sets Hearing Date in Scottrade Fiduciary Case

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Attorneys representing Scottrade and the Massachusetts Securities Division will go before Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton on Aug. 7 to air their views on whether the case brought by Massachusetts’ top securities regulator, William Galvin, against Scottrade for violating the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule should be sent back to state court.

Gorton released the hearing date on Monday.

Galvin and Scottrade have been battling over whether the case should be heard in federal court. Galvin is seeking to have it heard in state court.

Lawyers representing Galvin told the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on June 11 that Galvin’s case against Scottrade for violating the fiduciary rule should not be heard in federal court because a securities firm’s “violation of its own policies has long been a basis for liability” under state law, regardless of the complaint’s fiduciary rule references.

Attorneys representing Scottrade have retorted that the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has jurisdiction over the case because Galvin “is suing to enforce the federal standards set forth in Labor’s fiduciary rule.

“Plaintiff’s [June 11] reply pretends otherwise, ignoring the 39 references to the rule … and the fact that the only violations alleged therein are of the standards established by the rule,” the Scottrade attorneys wrote.

Galvin told ThinkAdvisor on June 25 that his case against Scottrade will “go forward” despite the fact that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued the order to the kill the rule on June 21.

A staunch fiduciary rule advocate, Galvin told ThinkAdvisor that he was “disheartened and disappointed” with the 5th Circuit’s decision.

“In my estimation, it was wrongly decided and will serve only to harm investors,” he said. “It is now all the more important that the SEC step in to fill the void.”

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