Gary M. Saretsky



    B.A., University of Michigan
    (with High Distinction), 1977

    J.D., Wayne State University Law
    School, 1980

    CRCP, FINRA Institute at Wharton
    (The Wharton School, University of
    Pennsylvania), 2010












    William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize

    James B. Angell Scholar

    Litigation Counsel of America Senior Fellow

    Super Lawyer
    —  Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine


    Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit
    —  DBusiness Magazine


    Crain’s Top Attorney
    —  Crain’s Detroit Business


    Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, AV Rating



    • Served as lead counsel in defense of 743 securities arbitration claims nationwide involving the sale of real estate, energy, aircraft leasing, cable TV, film, research and development, and horse breeding limited partnerships.

    • Successfully obtained summary dismissal (affirmed on appeal) of a federal court complaint against a broker-dealer that marketed and sold $40,000,000 of interests in aircraft leasing limited partnerships, establishing “Bespeaks Caution” doctrine precedent in the Sixth Circuit.

    • Via a nominal settlement, successfully defended the Finance Director of a publicly traded automobile supplier in an SEC enforcement proceeding in which the Finance Director was alleged to have mischaracterized in an SEC filing the circumstances surrounding the receipt and application of $20,000,000 in revenue.

    • Obtained summary judgment (affirmed on appeal) on behalf of a broker-dealer in a federal district court lawsuit brought by the City of Detroit Pension Fund and City of Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System involving $10,000,000 in research and development investments, establishing precedent on the eligibility of arbitrable disputes.

    • Successfully appealed a federal district court’s award of damages against a broker-dealer, establishing precedent that loss causation is a required element under the Uniform Securities Act, and that Michigan law prohibits the recovery of exemplary damages in securities cases.

    • Obtained summary judgment (affirmed on appeal) of a suitability claim against a broker-dealer, establishing state law precedent that there is no private right of action for violation of securities industry rules.

    • Defeated class certification in a Fargo, North Dakota securities fraud lawsuit involving the sale of unregistered promissory notes.

    • Served as lead counsel in defense of sixteen FINRA mass actions in Omaha, Nebraska involving the sale to 150 investors of more than $20,000,000 in unregistered promissory notes, equity interests and corporate debt.

    • Provided cost effective counsel and successful representation nationwide to a broker-dealer entangled in a series of FINRA arbitration claims alleging inadequate due diligence in connection with tenant in common and other 1031 exchange real estate investments.

    • Secured a FINRA “no action” letter on behalf of a broker-dealer alleged to have performed inadequate due diligence in connection with an $88,500,000 real estate based securities offering.

    • Resolved for a nominal sum SEC charges against a city mayor that investors were misled in connection with a $31,000,000 municipal bond offering intended to finance the city’s establishment of a movie studio.

    • Defended a principal of a real estate investment fund alleged to have participated in a fraudulent and unregistered securities offering that raised $50,000,000 from 440 investors.

    • Provided counsel and representation to broker-dealers and registered representatives in hundreds of matters dealing with the enforceability of restrictive covenants contained in employment agreements.

    • Successfully enforced hundreds of forgivable loans, which frequently spill over and involve the defense of defamation, discrimination and tortious interference counter-claims.

    • Regularly consults with and represents broker-dealers, registered representatives, investment advisors, financial planners and CPAs in investigations and disciplinary matters before the SEC, FINRA, CFP Board and the States, including the successful strategic use of Wells Submissions and AWCs.

    • Frequently consults with broker-dealers on policies and procedures to ensure compliance with governing laws, rules and regulations, as well as risk management to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, potential exposure.

Gary M. Saretsky is a founding shareholder of Saretsky Hart Michaels & Gould PC. He has practiced law since 1980.

Gary’s practice is litigation oriented, concentrating in the areas of securities, commercial and employment litigation. The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has awarded him its highest legal ability and ethical standards rating (AV – very high to preeminent). He has also been selected a “Michigan Super Lawyer” (a publication which identifies the top 2.5% of practicing attorneys in each state as selected by their peers), a claim Gary’s mother had made many years before he received this formal designation. Gary is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a highly selective, invitation-only honorary society of trial lawyers comprised of fewer than one-half of 1% of American lawyers, and Gary has been regularly named by DBusiness Magazine as a Top Lawyer, based upon peer voting of Michigan attorneys (only 17 of Michigan’s 41,000 attorneys were named as a Top Lawyer in the area of Securities Law.)

The FINRA Institute at Wharton has conferred upon Gary the designation of Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP). Gary is one of only a dozen attorneys in the private practice of law nationwide to have successfully completed this rigorous residential program at The Wharton School since the program’s inception in 2000. Gary’s CRCP designation uniquely qualifies him to consult with, advise and represent members of the securities and investment advisory industries on compliance and legal matters.

Gary has defended more than 1,000 securities, commercial and employment lawsuits and arbitrations, and he regularly advises and represents clients in matters before regulators. Gary’s experience has provided him with a command of the governing statutes, rules, regulations, the common law and legal precedent. His litigation skills are recognized and appreciated by clients (who have asked him to arbitrate cases in 36 states), and attorneys, CPAs, broker-dealers, registered representatives, investment advisers, insurance agents, financial planners and arbitrators, before whom Gary frequently lectures. Gary also is a certified arbitrator and mediator for FINRA and the AAA.

Gary’s “track record” of success as a litigator is outstanding. Results are an absolute priority for Gary, whether he is defending an alleged sales practice violation, handling a recruitment or restrictive covenant dispute, or working with (and sometimes against!) regulators to help a client obtain or maintain their registration.

Gary has a national practice, with a concentration in the Midwest. Gary is admitted to practice law in 9 states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas and Arizona. He is also admitted to practice before numerous United States District Courts throughout the Midwest, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.

As a founding shareholder of the firm, Gary believes Saretsky Hart Michaels and Gould offers something refreshing and unique to clients. The firm’s office reflects a fresh and creative vision. The firm has a clear sense of purpose. Instead of attempting to be “all things to all people,” the firm embraces the idea that the modern practice of law demands the highest level of specialization to meet clients’ needs. The firm’s roster of representative clients is enviable to the largest of firms, and the firm has grown organically. Hiring is frequently done on the sotto voce recommendation of federal judges. Knowing that every law firm’s most precious resource is it’s human capital, the firm’s leadership sets the tone by wisely investing in the professional development of lawyers through an extensive training and mentoring program. Client matters are challenging, assignments are interesting, responsibility is appropriately delegated and carefully supervised, initiative is encouraged, and feedback is frequent and immediate. The end result is that Saretsky Hart Michaels and Gould is both a platform to deliver outstanding, value-driven client services, as well as a collaborative and harmonious team of remarkable lawyers, engaged in and enthused by exciting work, that is a fun and supportive place to work – in other words, a nightmare for every adversary and opposing counsel – which is exactly what every client deserves in hiring a lawyer and law firm!

Gary graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree (with high distinction) in 1977. While in Ann Arbor, he was the recipient of the William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize and he was a James B. Angell Scholar, and Gary is currently a Member of the Advisory Board to the University’s “Michigan in Washington” Program. Gary graduated from the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan in 1980. He was Vice Chancellor of the school’s Moot Court Program. Prior to founding Saretsky Hart Michaels & Gould PC, Gary was a principal shareholder in Hertz, Schram & Saretsky, P.C.

PRESENTATIONS & PAPERS: Annuities and Suitability – Know the Product, Know the Customer; Broker Recruiting and Termination – From Cradle to Grave; Cross Examining Securities Expert Witnesses – Isn’t It True…?; Discovery Sanctions in Securities Arbitration – Time Is Money; Diversification – Balancing Between Sword and Shield; Enforcement of Arbitration Clauses against Non-Signatories – Sign Of The Times; Errors and Omissions Insurance Primer; Ethics in Settlement Negotiations, Joint Representation and Arbitration Conduct; Ethics – Straighten Up and Fly Right; Fiduciary Duties; FINRA Discovery Guide Update; FINRA Motion Practice – Don’t Cross the River if You Can’t Swim the Tide; From CPA to RIA – To Serve and Protect; How to Protect Yourself against Lawsuits When Advising Clients – Or the Importance Of Practicing Safe Stocks!; Insurance Agent – Or More?; Life, Law and Business; Life Settlements – L’Chaim!; Limits of Supervision – See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me; Mandatory Securities Arbitration – Victim of Legislative Backlash?; Penny Stocks – A Penny Saved Is A Penny Speculatively Invested; Ponzi Schemes – You’re Just Too Good To Be True; Private Placement Due Diligence – Do the Due!; Registered Investment Advisors in Michigan; Regulation of Financial Planners; REIT and TIC Claims – From the Mountains, to the Prairies, to the Oceans, Tapping, B-D Dough!; Subpoenas to Appear – FINRA Arbitrations; Supervision – Walking Hand in Hand with Compliance; Variable Annuities and Equity Indexed Annuities.

REPORTED DECISIONS: Bennett v. Shearson/American Express, 168 Mich. App. 80; 423 N.W.2d 911 (1987); Lund v. Shearson/American Express, 852 F.2d 182 (6th Cir. 1988); Harner v. Prudential Securities, 785 F.Supp. 626 (E.D. Mich. 1992), aff’d 35 F.3d. 565 (6th Cir. 1994); Hartman v. Shearson Lehman Hutton, 194 Mich. App. 25; 486 N.W.2d 53 (1992); Hart v. Christy v. Prudential-Bache Securities, 198 Mich. App. 215; 497 N.W.2d 194 (1993); Sheldon Company Profit Sharing Plan v. Oppenheimer, 828 F.Supp. 1262 (W.D. Mich. 1993), aff’d 91 F.3d 26 (6th Cir. 1996); Ohio Company v. Nemecek, 98 F.3d 234 (6th Cir. 1996); City of Detroit Pension Fund v. Prudential Securities, 91 F.3d 26 (6th Cir. 1996), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1119, 117 S.Ct. 1252, 137 L.Ed.2d 333 (1997).
UNPUBLISHED DECISIONS: Campbell v. Shearson/American Express, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Nos. 85-1703 and 85-1714 (1987); Carsten v. North Bridge Holdings, Michigan Court of Appeals No. 258604 (January 24, 2006); Naz v. Morgan Stanley, Michigan Court of Appeals No. 259110 (April 20, 2006); Chopra v. All-Tech Investment Group, Michigan Court of Appeals No. 268298 (March 27, 2007).

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: University of Michigan, Michigan in Washington Program, Advisory Board Member; Tamarack Camps, Advisory Board Member; and Friendship Circle, Community Arts Council, Advisory Board Member.