Speaker Biographies

DAVID A. BECKER, Esq. is an Assistant Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, supervising attorneys in the Division’s Asset Management Unit and Core group. He has supervised investigations concerning a broad range of misconduct, including matters involving retail investment advisers, advisers to private and registered funds, undisclosed conflicts of interest, retirement rollover recommendations, market manipulation, unregistered broker-dealer conduct, insider trading, and fraudulent offerings of digital assets. He works frequently on investigations in parallel with federal criminal authorities and other  regulators. He also has worked on the Commission’s rulemaking efforts, including the recent proposed reforms to money market fund rules. Prior to becoming an Assistant Director, Mr. Becker served as Senior Counsel in the Asset Management Unit. He joined the SEC from the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, where he practiced as an associate and counsel in the firm’s Securities Litigation and Professional Liability Practice Group. Mr. Becker received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his law degree from the University of Chicago. 

RICHARD W. BERRY, Esq. is Executive Vice President and Director, FINRA Dispute Resolution Services (DRS)Prior to serving in this capacity, Mr. Berry was Senior Vice President, DRS. In that role, he oversaw the four regional offices—New York, Boca Raton, Chicago and Los Angeles—and DRS’s Case Administration unit. Mr. Berry joined FINRA, then NASD, in 1995 as head of DRS's Los Angeles satellite office. In 2001, he was named Director of Case Administration in the New York City office.  Mr. Berry serves as Executive Champion of FINRA’s Toastmasters Clubs.  Mr. Berry earned his Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional™ designation through the FINRA Institute. Prior to joining FINRA, he taught American law for one year in Budapest. Mr. Berry began his career practicing law in San Francisco. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Hastings College of the Law. Mr. Berry is a member of the California Bar.  

ALAN J. BESNOFF, incoming President at SER, is the founder of Securities Expert Witness & Litigation Support, LLC and serves as an expert witness and litigation consultant throughout the United States. He provides expertise in disputes concerning suitability and sales practices of securities, insurance & annuities, and employment issues within the financial services industry. Mr. Besnoff has served as a General Securities Principal with over 25 years of supervisory experience and has passed FINRA registration examinations for Series 6, 63, 65, 7, 26, and 24, as well as state licensing examinations for Life Insurance & Annuities, Disability Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Variable Life Insurance and Variable Annuities. He has taught securities, financial planning, insurance & annuities, and risk management at multiple universities and to financial advisors and managers throughout the industry. Mr. Besnoff holds the designations of: Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). He has been appointed by the CFP Board of Standards, and is currently serving as, Commissioner, Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, CFP Board of Standards

PAUL CARROLL is the outgoing President of SER and the Founder/President of Sententia, LLC. He has over 30 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry with expertise in operational controls, processes and procedures. Since 2011 he has been providing expert consulting, expert witness and testimony working with industry regulators, regulated brokers/dealers, attorneys and private parties in connection with investigations, trials, arbitration and mediation. Sententia LLC was formed to 2012 to provide insight, expertise and assistance to attorneys, investors, industry regulators and financial services firms. Primary practice areas involve Securities Litigation consulting and Expert Testimony in connection with regulatory investigations, trials, arbitration and mediation. 

CHARLES E. “CHUCK” DORR, Esq. has been a trial lawyer for over 35 years. A University of Georgia Law School graduate, he was admitted to the Georgia Bar in June 1985 and the Texas Bar in December 1996. Beginning his law practice as an associate with Hyatt & Rhoads, PC in Atlanta, Mr. Dorr left in 1991 to establish Dorr Law, where he remains the sole shareholder. The firm has represented clients in complex litigation against defendants such as Bank of Nova Scotia, Citigroup, DuPont, FirstService Corp., Hoechst Celanese, Lowe’s, Marriott, Shell Oil, Staubach Company, Tenet Healthcare and Viacom. In aggregate, these cases have involved amounts in dispute exceeding a billion dollars. Mr. Dorr is admitted to the State Bar of Georgia, the State Bar of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to studying law, Mr. Dorr was a Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, assigned to the GBI’s Special Operations Section Coastal Area Narcotics Unit in Savannah, Georgia. He is a veteran of service in the U.S. Army Military Police, receiving unit, battalion, brigade and command citations as well as the Army Commendation Medal. Mr. Dorr is a summa cum laude graduate of Troy State University in Alabama. He holds a BS in criminal justice. 

NATHANIEL R. HERR, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at American University who joined the department in 2012. Dr. Herr received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and received postdoctoral training and a faculty appointment at Duke University Medical Center. His research focuses on the etiology (the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition) and effects of interpersonal dysfunction, emotion regulation difficulties, and identity disturbance particularly among adults or emerging adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD). He also trains students in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and statistical methods in psychology. Dr. Herr will discuss his experiences both as a researcher who has focused on the interplay between emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness and as a clinician who has deployed and taught these skills when working with patients. 

JACK HERRMANN, Founding Member, Herrmann Dispute Resolution Services, LLC, has served clients as a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative, and founded a Registered Investment Advisor, registered with the SEC. His managerial experience included managing a broker-dealer branch office, and being part of a 4-person team managing a broker-dealer branch system. Over the past twenty years Jack has served as a neutral Arbitrator and Mediator, as well as an advocate assisting Attorneys as a Consultant and testifying Expert. Cases are before federal and state courts, FINRA, AAA and JAMS arbitrations and federal and state securities regulators. His engagements for over two hundred (200) securities and investment-related cases have included disputes of all types involving securities industry employment matters, how securities are valued, managed, offered and divided, Ponzi schemes, bankruptcies, court-appointed Receivers and others.

ROBERT LAWSON is an experienced and accomplished FINRA and Securities Expert Witness. He is an active CEO and CCO of an RIA that he established in 1988. His credentials include: Certified Securities Compliance Professional, Master Registered Financial Consultant, (MRFC®), Accredited Investment Fiduciary, (AIF®), Certified Fraud Examiner, (CFE®), FINRA Mediator/Arbitrator, a Certified Mediator, and a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow, (LUTCF®). Lawson is the President and Managing Principal of Barrington Financial Consulting Group, a full-service Securities and Insurance Litigation Support Consulting firm with a team of 12 experienced financial services testifying and consulting experts. For nearly 40 years, Lawson has worked in the brokerage industry as a FINRA Registered Securities and Options Principal, Registered Representative, Investment Fiduciary, and Insurance Agent. Mr. Lawson proudly serves as a FINRA Arbitrator & Mediator, A Certified Mediator, NFA Arbitrator (Chair-Qualified), and Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice (Adjudicative/Evaluative).

HOLLIE MASON, Senior Securities and Litigation Consultant The Brattle Group, has more than 15 years of financial industry experience, involving Securities litigation and regulation. Prior to joining Brattle, she served as senior enforcement counsel at FINRA, where she was responsible for ensuring that its members complied with FINRA and SEC regulatory requirements. Ms. Mason was also a certified FINRA dispute resolution arbitrator for over 10 years. She spent several years as senior in-house legal counsel for a large broker-dealer, where she handled complex litigation and compliance matters, including matters that involved auction rate securities, market manipulation, margin requirements, supervisory systems, and suitability obligations. Ms. Mason provides expert testimony as well as consulting services concerning securities markets and regulation, regulatory compliance and risk management. Ms. Mason holds a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law and is licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States, and in Nebraska and Iowa.

CHARLES W. RANSON, President, Charles W. Ranson Consulting, Inc.has 35+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Ranson held positions at Legg Mason in Washington DC beginning in 1983, at Merrill Lynch and Oppenheimer between 1986 and 1990 and entered the banking industry in 1990,  at the Trust Department of Citizens and Southern Trust Co (Bank of America). He joined Chase Manhattan Private Bank in 1991, rising from VP for business development and marketing to Managing Director at Chase Manhattan Bank NA, ultimately becoming President and CEO of the Chase Manhattan Private Bank in Florida. Mr. Ranson worked with OCC regulators in all aspects of the bank’s audits and compliance with regulations. In 2001 he became Managing Director of US Trust Company of Florida, and in 2002 he opened the Florida offices of Atlantic Trust Co. He formed Integritas Advisors, an independent investment advisory firm, in 2004. From 2006-2010, he was Founding Chair of Tiger 21, the nation’s leading peer-to-peer learning group for ultra high net worth investors. 

PAUL SCHINDLER, Chief Counsel, FINRA Department of Enforcement. Paul oversees an Enforcement group at FINRA and previously served as a director and staff attorney in Enforcement after he joined FINRA in 2005.  Prior to FINRA, Paul was in private practice for 12 years as a commercial litigator in New York City, specializing in complex, civil litigation. He has a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

STEPHEN L. TOPETZES, Esq. is a partner at K&L Gates. His practice centers on the defense of financial services clients and other companies or individuals with respect to government investigations, regulatory or private litigation, and corporate internal investigations. He represents public companies, boards of directors, banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment companies, underwriters, and individuals in investigations or examinations by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), federal banking regulators, and state securities regulators or attorneys general. He also has extensive experience handling complex litigation, regulatory enforcement proceedings, class action lawsuits, mutual fund excessive fee litigation, and arbitrations. His practice includes frequent representation of accountants and lawyers with respect to regulatory investigations or proceedings and related shareholder claims. Steve received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from University of Minnesota (summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa).