Juan Monteverde on His Work in the Legal FieldJuly 7, 2020
As part of an ongoing series, we’re taking a look at different specialties within the field of law to give readers a better understanding of what the practice of law actually entails. One specialty we’ve received quite a few questions about has been the field of securities law. In order to better explore this field, we’ve spent time with one of its top practitioners — Juan Monteverde, a securities attorney based in New York City. With the information he’s provided about his work, along with additional information about the field as a whole, we’ve been able to provide an overview of some of this specialization’s common undertakings.
Taking the First Steps
One thing that’s important to note for this type of work is the path that many professionals take towards their eventual status as a practitioner. In the case of Juan Monteverde, his formal progression towards this career began during his undergraduate studies. He studied finance during his time attending California State University, Northridge, intending to pursue a career related to the stock market, perhaps as a stockbroker. While this field remained of interest to him, his plans started to shift when he began a part-time job at a local law firm.
That position exposed him to the field of law for the first time in an in-depth manner. That exposure brought with it the opportunity to participate in a two-week-long trial where he was able to witness firsthand how multiple aspects of the legal process were conducted. This view gave him a newfound appreciation for the impact that an attorney can make in the lives of their clients, especially when it comes to helping to correct injustice. From that first experience he would go on to law school where he would then begin the formal process of becoming a practicing attorney.
Law School and Early Firm Experiences
The attorney’s years attending St. Thomas University’s School of Law provided him not only with a solid education in the field of law, but it also provided him with the opportunity to further refine his focus in his field. Some of this refinement came from his extracurricular pursuits at the school, where he served as a staff editor on the school’s law review and as President for the school’s official newspaper — Plead the 5th. However, a good degree of his understanding of his personal interests during this time came, again, from employment outside of his formal education.
This time, that employment came from his work for the firm of Diaz Reus as a summer associate. This period of employment, which lasted for three years, brought with it a high degree of exposure to the firm’s many high-profile and complex cases. Many of these cases were concentrated in commercial disputes and government investigations for clients based both domestically and internationally. These clients included foreign governments, foreign officials, Fortune 500 corporations, banks, and other financial institutions. With a sophisticated degree of legal experience gained from this work, the attorney was able to move on to other firms where he further refined his expertise and career direction.
State-Level Legal Action
Eventually, Juan Monteverde found his focus in securities litigation and would go on to create his own firm — Monteverde & Associates. Through his firm, the attorney focuses his efforts on advocating for shareholder rights, regularly handling high profile merger cases. In these cases, he seeks to maximize shareholder value and has also improved merger transactions in the process. The firm operates both locally and nationwide, with a general focus on two different types of cases. These two cases typically are focused in either state courts or federal courts, depending on the laws in question.
For cases taking place in state courts, legal proceedings often revolve around what is known as breaches of fiduciary duty. This concept stems from the duty of a company’s board of directors to engage in care, good faith, and loyalty with respect to company and shareholder interests. There are numerous ways in which this idea can be breached, but a simple example would be a case in which a member of the board of directors might give preferential treatment to an acquaintance by selling them company assets for less than their fair value. This can be problematic since, in essence, one of the duties of the board of directors is to maximize shareholder value. In cases where this duty is not adhered to adequately, legal action may take place.
Federal-Level Legal Action
A second type of case that the attorney’s firm commonly becomes involved in can be tried at the federal level. These cases often center around what is known as a “proxy statement.” When there’s a merger between two companies, the companies are required to issue such a statement in order to provide an accurate representation of the organization and its fair valuation. Misleading or false information on such a statement, for instance, to make a company’s valuation appear lower than it truly is, can be a violation of the law. In these instances, the attorney and his firm will litigate legal action in order to recover fair value for stockholders.
Regardless of whether the legal action takes place at the state level or federal level, shareholders are the plaintiffs in the cases litigated by the attorney’s firm. The defendants are the persons in charge of the company in question. This can sometimes vary from company to company but often involves some combination of the company’s board of directors, CEO, and CFO. These actions form the bulk of the firm’s actions and their description should begin to paint a picture of the types of efforts in which the attorney and the firm engages.
The field of securities law has many different branches. The information listed above pertaining to Juan Monteverde and his firm’s efforts represents just one of the concentrations within the field, in this case the protection of shareholder rights. This overview helps to illustrate the manner in which the attorney engages in promoting these rights and recovering fair value in cases where there may have been misleading or false information put forth by company representatives. For more information, the attorney has a number of published articles on the subject and speaks regularly at legal conferences.
More about Juan Monteverde at https://inspirery.com/juan-monteverde/