Skip to Main Content

Securities Law Research Guide: GENERAL

Statutes, regulations, treatises, and other sources of securities law


Bear Market: A market for investments in which price trends are generally downward.

Blue Sky Statutes: State securities laws. The name is derived from a state court decision that described a particular securities offering as having  "no more substance than the blue sky above."

Bull Market: A market for investments in which price trends are generally upward.

Derivative: A financial contract, the value of which is based on or "derived" from one or more underlying assets or indexes of asset values. Derivatives have generally been used as instruments to hedge risk, but they are also used for speculation. Rena S. Miller, Introduction to Financial Services: Derivatives (Congressional Research Service,updated Jan. 8, 2019).

EDGAR: The SEC database of federally-required disclosures by publicly traded corporations providing financial information to investors and researchers, including corporate registration statements, proxy statements, and other periodic reports.

FuturesContracts to buy or sell an agreed amount of some product (stocks, bonds, or commodities) at a specified price on a specific date in the future.

Margin:  A percentage of the full price for a security purchased through a credit (or margin) account with a broker/dealer. The Federal Reserve Board regulates permissible margins on purchases of securities.

No-Action Letters (Securities & Exchange Commission):  The SEC issues a "no-action" letter analyzing a set of facts and concluding that the facts will not trigger an enforcement action under applicable laws and rules.

Security:  Generic term for debts, ownership interests, or related rights evidenced by bonds, stocks, and similar instruments which provide an interest in or a claim against an enterprise and its resources.

 Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO): A non-governmental organization with authority delegated by the SEC to create and enforce securities industry regulations and standards of ethics. The stock exchanges and  the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are examples of SROs.


Securities Regulation, Louis Loss (6th ed. 2019) (KF1439 .L6) (two-vol. set).

Treatise on the Law of Securities Regulation, Thomas Lee Hazen (7th ed. 2016) (KF1439 .H39) (multi-vol. set); available on Westlaw under the title Law of Securities Regulation.

Soderquist on Corporate Law and Practice, Linda O. Smiddy (4th ed. 2012 & Rel. 2013) (KF1414 .S 622) (looseleaf); (part of Practising Law Institute's Corporate and Securities Law Library).

Bromberg and Lowenfels on Securities Fraud, Alan Bromberg & Lewis D. Lowenfels (2d ed. 1994) (KF1070 .B7) (six-vol.looseleaf); (available on Westlaw).

Broker-Dealer Regulation, Clifford E. Kirsch (2d ed. 2011) (KF1071 .B76) (looseleaf); (part of Practicing Law Institute’s Corporate and Securities Law Library).

Investment Adviser Regulation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Compliance and the Law, Clifford E. Kirsch (3d ed. 2011) (KF1072 .K572); (part of Practising Law Institute's Corporate and Securities Law Library).




Fairbridge Investor Rights Clinic is part of John Jay Legal Services at Elisabeth Haub School of Law. In this two-semester academic course, students handle securities arbitrations and mediations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Dispute Resolution on behalf of small investors.

See also a podcast about the previous clinical experience at the law school, the Pace Investor Rights Clinic at: Modest Means New Yorkers Have Pro Bono Advocate in Wall Street Disputes (December 21, 2012).