Stacey Myers Garrett

Stacey is a shareholder located in Keesal, Young & Logan’s Long Beach office.  She has successfully represented securities broker-dealers and banks in jury trials, bench trials, class actions, and hundreds of arbitrations.

Securities:  Stacey regularly appears in state and federal courts and in securities arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  Stacey’s experience includes defending claims alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Rule 10b-5), violations of the California Corporations Code, excessive mark-ups and commissions, unauthorized trading, failure to hedge, overconcentration, margin abuses, collars and restricted stock (Rule 144), breach of fiduciary duty, suitability, concealment, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, money-laundering, failure to supervise, negligence, and elder abuse.  Stacey also has advised and defended firms and registered representatives in securities regulatory inquiries initiated by FINRA, the New York Stock Exchange, and the California Department of Corporations.

Banking:  Stacey has successfully defended national and community banks in claims alleging wrongful foreclosure, wrongful mortgage lending and underwriting practices, claims of oral promises to loan money or extend deadlines, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and alleged violations of federal and California banking statutes.

Privacy and Cybersecurity:  Stacey is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals in United States private sector privacy law (CIPP/US) and European Union privacy and data protection law (CIPP/E).  She also is a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT).  Her work includes defending clients accused of various privacy laws, assessing clients’ legal and regulatory compliance with applicable privacy laws, under federal law, California law, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Stacey has written articles on developments in and issues pertaining to privacy law, and has spoken to a number of groups about these topics.  Recent articles include:

  • Are U.S. Records Retention Requirements on a Collision Course with the GDPR’s “Right to Erasure?” (May 2018), Cybersecurity Law & Strategy; Law.Com
  • Strengthening Trust and Market Share with Strong Privacy and Data Security Practices (July 2018), Western Independent Bankers magazine

Education

Stacey graduated summa cum laude from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. degree in journalism (1987).  She obtained her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (magna cum laude) (1991).  While in law school, Stacey was a member of the Hastings Law Journal and Order of the Coif.

Additional Honors and Recognition

  • Los Angeles Magazine Southern California “Rising Star” for 2004
  • Los Angeles Magazine Southern California “Super Lawyer” 2005–2018 (designation limited to 5% of the attorneys practicing in California).
  • Recognized by Los Angeles Magazine as a “Top Attorneys in Southern California” in the field of securities litigation (February 2012)
  • AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Bar Memberships/Courts

Stacey is a member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Nevada.  She also is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all of the United States District Courts in California and Nevada.

Representative Trial and Arbitration Results

  • Victory for Citigroup on a $493 Million Claim in a 37-day AAA Securities Arbitration; In Addition, Citigroup Recovered $2 Million from Claimants.

Claimants sought $293 million in compensatory damages and another $200 million in punitive damages on claims arising out of hundreds of exchange-traded securities, new issues, margin transactions, variable forward purchase contracts, and over-the-counter collars.  Over a period of 37 hearing days, 28 witnesses testified and more than 1,000 exhibits were entered into evidence.  The arbitrators unanimously found in favor of the respondent, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., on all claims.  Additionally, the claimants paid Citigroup $2 million in attorneys’ fees.  The result was reported by the Daily Journal’s “Verdicts & Settlement” column and labeled a “Top Verdict” (linked here), and also was reported by the Securities Arbitration Commentator (linked here) and Arb Reporter (linked here).  Kosti & Marian Shirvanian, individually and as Trustees of the Kosti Shirvanian and Marian Shirvanian Living Trust v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (f/k/a Salomon Smith Barney), AAA Case No. 72-168-Y-00004-04 NOLG (10/27/2017).

  • FINRA Arbitration Panel Dismissed $12 Million Claim.

After an all-day evidentiary hearing, three FINRA arbitrators determined that this $12 million claim was ineligible for arbitration under FINRA Rule 12206(a) (six-year rule).  The case had a long procedural history that began in 2009 in Superior Court (probate), continued with a FINRA arbitration in 2013 that was permanently enjoined after a bench trial in Superior Court in San Diego, a second FINRA arbitration in 2016, a second bench trial in Superior Court (resulting in an order dissolving the injunction), and eventually concluding in the FINRA panel’s order dismissing the arbitration on eligibility grounds.  The registered representatives’ application for expungement relief was granted in March 2018.  Jennifer Marun, as Administrator of the Estate of Elian Eduardo Marun v. UBS Financial Services Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., et al., FINRA Case No. 16-01856.

  • Defense Judgment for Community Bank on $22 Million Claim After 29-day Bench Trial And Judgment in Favor of Bank on Its $650,000 Counterclaim.

Bank borrowers claimed that a community bank failed to provide them with promised loans and lines of credit to support their farming and produce-marketing operations.  The plaintiffs sought damages of $22 million.  After a 29-day bench trial in Santa Barbara County Superior Court (Santa Maria), the trial judge found in favor of the bank on every claim and awarded the bank $650,000 and costs on its counterclaim.  Corona Fruits & Veggies, Inc., v. Heritage Oaks Bank, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara Case No. 1290870 (11/26/2014 and 1/20/2015).

  • Federal Judge Dismissed Borrower’s $1 million Claim Against Bank

Borrowers on a home construction loan claimed that their lender failed to properly approve and fund construction costs.  The borrowers sought damages of $1 million.  The United States District Court judge determined that the borrowers failed to state a claim and dismissed the case.

  • Bank Prevailed on Counterclaim and Was Awarded Attorneys’ Fees and Costs.

In a three-week jury trial, a borrower claimed that his lender orally promised to extend a completion deadline on a multimillion dollar construction loan and also orally promised not to foreclose on the property.  Although the jury initially found in favor of the borrower, the judge found in favor of the bank on its equitable counterclaims, granted the bank’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the contractual cause of action, and awarded the bank its attorneys’ fees and costs.

  • Arbitration Award in Favor of Brokerage Firm on $1.5 Million Claim Alleging Elder Abuse and Unsuitability

A 72-year-old investor claimed that his financial consultant failed to properly manage his fee-based, discretionary equities account.  A short time after opening the account, the claimant borrowed $1.5 million on a line of credit secured by the account, spent all the money and never paid down the loan.  After the equities market crashed in 2008, the customer claimed that the securities were unsuitable for his allegedly “moderate” risk tolerance, and that the use of margin improperly increased the risk in his account.  The arbitrators denied the claim and granted expungement for the branch manager and the financial consultant.  Michael Padilla, et al. v. Citibank, FSB, et al., FINRA Case No. 09-02200.

  • FINRA Arbitration Panel Dismissed $3.8 million Claim Against Citigroup and Ordered Claimants to Pay Sanctions of $1 Million to Respondents.

Claimants sought damages of $3.8 million as a result of alleged mishandling of their equities accounts.  After 12 days of hearing, the claimants rested and the respondents moved to dismiss the case and for sanctions.  The FINRA arbitrators denied all of the claimants’ claims, ordered the claimants to pay a total of $1 million in sanctions, and recommended that the complaint be expunged from the registered representative’s record.  Lorenza Ramos de Vildosola, et al. v. UBS Financial Services, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., et al., FINRA Case No. 06-05306.

  • Securities Class Action Tried to Verdict.

In this securities class action, 250 class members claimed their broker had engaged in unauthorized trading when he moved their money out of the stock market to a more conservative investment allocation just days before a market crash.  In a six-week jury trial, the trial judge refused to dismiss at least three jurors who were related to or knew members of the plaintiff class, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff class.  The judgment was reduced on appeal.

  • Dale Burns, et al. v. Prudential Securities, Inc., 145 Ohio App. 3d 424 (2001) (affirming order granting class certification)
  • Dale Burns, et al. v. Prudential Securities, Inc., 167 Ohio App. 3d 809 (2006) (judgment affirmed in part and reversed in part)

Bankruptcy and Appellate Work

In addition to trial work, Stacey handles appeals.  She has argued cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, California Courts of Appeal, and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit.  Stacey’s bankruptcy practice has resulted in two opinions published by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:

  • In re Weisberg, 136 F.3d 655 (9th Cir. 1998) (holding that securities broker’s liquidation of securities in account of bankrupt client for the purpose of meeting margin calls did not violate the automatic stay and margin payments could not be recovered by trustee);
  • In re Superior Stamp & Coin Co., 223 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2000) (holding that earmarking doctrine provided defense to debtor’s preference action and did not allow debtor to avoid portion of payments funded by bank loans specifically made for purpose of paying specific creditor).

Other

Stacey advocates combining technology and law to efficiently deliver high quality legal services.  Stacey’s and Keesal, Young & Logan’s use of the LexisNexis CaseMap® software tool to electronically manage evidence, evaluate issues, and collaborate in case development was featured in a case study published by LexisNexis (click here for full case study).