Having just helped settle the historic $1B class action against Wells Fargo for alleged securities fraud, Laura Posner, a partner in our Securities Litigation and Investor Protection practice, is engaged in a high-profile spoofing lawsuit against Citadel, one of the world’s largest market makers. She recently talked to the editors at Lawdragon about her path to becoming a leading securities class action attorney.
Here's an excerpt:
Lawdragon: You’ve had quite a career so far. What inspired you to pursue plaintiffs’ litigation?
Laura Posner: I went to law school planning to work for the government – specifically for the Department of Justice as a civil rights lawyer. I believe that working for the government is an important way to serve your country, and my motivation for entering the law was always to help others in need. But I temporarily shelved that idea to do plaintiff-side litigation after one of my professors at Harvard Law School clued me into the far-reaching social and economic impact of plaintiff-side class action work.
So, after summering at a plaintiffs’ class action firm, I was hooked and became a plaintiffs’ securities litigator.
LD: Why securities litigation?
LP: I strongly believe that fair and open financial markets lead to a more just society that can transform people’s economic lives. The ability of Americans to become upwardly mobile, save for a home and college, survive health scares, and ultimately retire securely is largely dependent on being able to participate in a fair market. So, it’s incredibly gratifying to me to help ensure markets are fair, honest and safe – and hopefully open to more investors.
LD: Tell us about your role as New Jersey’s top securities regulator.
LP: For me, it was an opportunity to fulfill my lifelong desire to work for the government. When a former colleague suggested I meet with the New Jersey Attorney General about the recently vacated state Securities Regulator role, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m glad I did. It was a transformative experience.
The Bureau of Securities does everything that the Securities Exchange Commission does, only on a statewide scale – which, particularly in the case of New Jersey, isn’t so small, including examinations, registration, investor education, enforcement, legislation and policy work. On the enforcement side, I had a lot of latitude and was able to push the office to take on more and bigger cases, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries for New Jersey residents and more than 20 criminal convictions during my time in office.
I also was able to do a lot of policy and legislative work through my roles with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which represents state and provincial regulators in the United States, Canada and Mexico. As a result, I helped New Jersey become a leader in securities policy and regulation and take on large-scale enforcement work in collaboration with other states.