Lowe v. Securities and Exchange Commission

RESPONDENT: Securities and Exchange Commission
LOCATION: Parking Lot

DOCKET NO.: 83-1911
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 472 US 181 (1985)
ARGUED: Jan 07, 1985
DECIDED: Jun 10, 1985

Michael E. Schoeman - on behalf of Petitioners
Rex E. Lee - on behalf of Respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Lowe v. Securities and Exchange Commission

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 07, 1985 in Lowe v. Securities and Exchange Commission

But if you're bound by that case, you're client is covered?

Rex E. Lee:

In the case of investment advisers, they are capable of prescribing, if you will, or giving their advice on which people will rely all at once and doing so with a greater effect.

Michael E. Schoeman:

That's right.

Rex E. Lee:

That is, typically for the lawyer the advice is one on one.

What if he had gone out door to door, office to office, in the typical way dealers would engage in their activity of not only advising, but selling securities, after all of his licenses had been revoked?

Mr. Solicitor General, along that line, could the legislature of a state pass a law that no disbarred lawyer can publish a paper?

Could a court enjoin that activity?

Rex E. Lee:

Absolutely not, Justice Marshall.

Michael E. Schoeman:

If he went door to door selling his publication?

You're getting awful close.

Well, usually they did it by telephone, but that he continued doing just what he had done as a dealer after his license had been revoked.

Rex E. Lee:

The difference is this--

Now, that includes a great deal of verbal activity, doesn't it?

Couldn't a lawyer publish an article, a column in the newspaper?

Michael E. Schoeman:


Rex E. Lee:

--Clearly he could, clearly he could.

Michael E. Schoeman:

If all he was doing was selling the publication--

Could he give legal advice in that column?

No, not the publication.

Rex E. Lee:

I think that he could.

I'm talking about securities.

Rex E. Lee:

The difference is this: The persons who purchase that newspaper are purchasing a collection, are purchasing it for a collection of reasons.

Michael E. Schoeman:

--Ah, if he were selling securities.

Rex E. Lee:

In that newspaper is advice on food, on travel, on who should be number one in the football polls, and also perhaps is an article by a lawyer.

I'm moving away.

Well, suppose it's only legal news.

He's acting as a dealer, selling securities, advising people and selling securities, calling them on the phone, having conferences with them, just as any dealer does.

Rex E. Lee:

If it is only legal news, that becomes a much harder case.

And then his license is revoked and he continues, and the court enjoins him.

You mean that the legislature could pass a law saying that a disbarred lawyer may not participate in any transmission of legal advice by newspaper?