Joseph D. Edmondson Jr



Joseph D. Edmondson, Jr. is a partner, securities litigation lawyer, commercial litigation lawyer, and professional responsibility lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Joseph focuses primarily on defending securities litigation and arbitration brought by the private clients and financial industry participants, as well as enforcement investigations and proceedings brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, state regulators, FINRA, and other self-regulatory organizations (SROs). He is a member of the firm’s Securities, Enforcement & Litigation and Securities, Commodities & Exchange Regulation Practices.

Joseph has more than twenty years of experience in securities and commercial litigation, arbitration, and regulatory investigations, involving primarily securities industry clients, but also in a wide array of matters ranging from health care, antitrust, contract disputes, real estate, attorney professional responsibility, and large collections. He has counseled firms and individuals on compliance with federal securities laws and regulations, as well as the rules of FINRA, the NYSE, and SROs, with an emphasis on supervision and supervisory procedures. He has been called upon to assist with internal investigations of broker-dealers and public companies.

Joseph has represented numerous broker-dealers, clearing firms, and individuals in regulatory investigations, litigation and arbitration proceedings involving, among other subjects: failure to supervise, NASDAQ trading practices, AML, FCPA, high-frequency trading and risk management, institutional and retail sales practices with respect to equity and fixed income products, underwritings of public and municipal offerings, "pay-to-play," insider trading, stock manipulation, advertising, research and suitability.

Joseph has handled over 100 customer and industry arbitrations before FINRA and NYSE panels, the subjects of which have included private placement securities, structured products, variable annuities, traded and non-traded REITs, high-risk technology stocks (the so-called “tech wreck” cases), and auction-rate securities, to name a few. A number of cases have involved novel attempts by claimants to hold owners of and investors in broker-dealers, as well as non-broker-dealer affiliates and clearing firms, responsible for investment losses. Several of Joseph’s cases also have resulted in successful injunctions based on lack of arbitration jurisdiction in the FINRA forum, as well as expungement demands on behalf of individuals.

Joseph serves as a professional responsibility partner within Foley and represents lawyers and law firms in matters involving compliance with the applicable rules of professional conduct, legal ethics concerns, and professional malpractice.

Representative Experience

  • Defended securities clearing broker-dealer in FINRA investigation of possible anti-money laundering, including multiple on-the-record examinations of employees, assisted the firm in developing remedial measures, and negotiated a settlement of proposed charges
  • Represented one of the nation’s then-fastest growing independent broker-dealer/investment advisor firms in connection a large number of private arbitrations concerning selling-away by a common representative, led trial team in obtaining “zero” awards in the first several cases we took to hearing, and settled the remaining cases for a small percentage of the claimed amounts
  • Advised client regarding ethics and professional responsibility issues surrounding possible formation of a D.C.-based law firm
  • Defended clearing division of regional broker-dealer in regulatory investigation arising from a “rogue client” short-selling incident, developed improved risk management procedures that avoided the need for an independent consultant, and settled proposed charges
  • Advised settling parties in numerous SEC investigations as to collateral consequences of agreed sanctions and obtained waivers and exemptive relief as necessary to continue business operations 

Professional Memberships

  • Counsel member, Legal and Compliance Society, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (1998 to present)
  • Member, Litigation and Business Law Sections, American Bar Association (Securities Litigation, Pro Bono, and Professional Liability Committees of the ABA Litigation Section)
  • Member, Litigation and Securities Sections, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, Litigation Section, Maryland Bar Association

Community Engagement

Joseph serves as a member of the board of directors of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of Gifts for the Homeless, Inc. (, and as its vice president for used clothing, having chaired its annual city-wide law firm used clothing drive for the past ten years and currently. He continues to devote a substantial portion of his time to community and pro bono activities.


Joseph received both his law and undergraduate degrees from the George Washington University (B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1988; J.D., with honors, 1991). He served as an associate editor of the George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics.


Joseph is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia, before the United States District Courts for the District of Maryland and the District of Columbia, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and District of Columbia Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.

Selected Publications

  • “Sarbanes-Oxley CEO Certifications – A Look Back Over 15 Years,” Risk & Compliance (October – December 2017)
  • “Attorneys As Sec Whistleblowers,” Risk & Compliance (July – September 2017)
  • “The Lawyer As Gatekeeper,” Risk & Compliance (April – June 2017)
  • “Reporting-Out Under Sarbanes-Oxley: Have The Worst Fears of Attorneys Been Realised?” Risk & Compliance (January – March 2017)
  • Co-author, “A Practical Guide to Securities Arbitration,” BNA Bloomberg Portfolio (2014)
  • “What RIAs Should Do When FINRA Asks About Trading Activity,” Financial Planning (May 3, 2012)
  • “Responding to FINRA’s Insider Trading Inquiries,” Securities Law360 (April 13, 2012)
  • “Predicting SCOTUS In Merck V. Reynolds," Securities Law360 (Feb. 16, 2010)
  • “SEC Enforcement Actions and Investigations in Private and Public Offerings,” Securities: Public and Private Offerings (West 2007)
  • Contributing author, Securities Enforcement: Counseling and Defense (Matthew Bender 2005 – 2017)
  • “D.C. Circuit Overturns SEC Sanctions as Punitive,” National Law Journal, (February 10, 1997)