Michael A. Rodriguez brings a broad perspective on the securities markets drawn from a lengthy legal career in private and public roles, both domestic and international. His current sophisticated practice in securities-industry arbitration, litigation and regulatory matters has given him experience with a wide array of issues. These matters have included claims regarding failure to supervise, misappropriation, suitability, excessive trading, mutual fund switching, annuity disclosures, as well as trust and estate disputes. And yet more unique issues such as obligations and immunities under the Bank Secrecy Act, apparent tax avoidance schemes, the sale of structured products and transactions in unregistered off-shore securities. The more significant regulatory matters – involving SEC, FINRA and state regulators - have concerned potential insider trading, adequacy of broker-dealer supervisory systems and Forms U-4 and U-5 disclosures. In all of the matters he handles, Michael brings a sharp eye for evidentiary details that can make the difference in closely contested cases.
Michael’s perspective also draws on his previous role as regional counsel for two prominent Wall Street financial services firms. As counsel, he advised regional management, compliance officers, branch management and operational staff on a host of matters, including recruiting and employment law, proposed and active account transactions and customer complaints. Michael also handled internal investigations, responded to regulatory inquiries and managed outside litigation counsel. He was also actively engaged in in-house education programs with branch office presentations and regional seminars for financial advisors and management.
At the international level, Michael served as a legal advisor to securities exchanges and governmental agencies in former Communist countries developing their capital markets following the Soviet Union’s dissolution This experience led Michael to a deeper understanding of US securities laws and regulations.
The Securities and Exchange Commission was the starting point for Michael’s legal career. Moving through increasing levels of responsibility, ultimately, he was appointed as the Assistant Regional Administrator in charge of the SEC’s Houston office. He handled or supervised numerous matters during his tenure. These involved securities registration, investment advisor registration and regulation, and a broad spectrum of corporate disclosure issues and accounting irregularities. Market manipulation, insider trading and suitability were also addressed. Thereafter, Michael briefly served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, Finance Division, where he handled the investigation of the athlete payment scandal at Southern Methodist University, one of the agency’s most significant cases at the time.
Michael earned his J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law (n/k/a Northwestern Pritzker School of Law) and his B.A. degree in Philosophy at Trinity University. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association and the Houston World Affairs Council.
News & Insights
- Firm News, 08.03.2020
Associations & Organizations
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association
- Houston World Affairs Council
Areas of Practice
- Business & Commercial Litigation
- Financial Institutions
- Financial Institutions Enforcement Defense
- Financial Institutions Internal Investigations
- Financial Institutions Litigation and Arbitration
- FINRA Employment Arbitrations
- Labor & Employment Law
- Retail Client Relationships
- Senior & Vulnerable Investor Group
- J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1979
- B.A., Philosophy, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, 1976
- State Bar of Texas
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas