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Top Five Tips From A Former Regulatory General Counsel

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1. Allocate the time of the oral presentation so that the principals can describe the matter, the reasons for action, and the resulting benefits or harm. The agency knows the attorney can do so but appreciates hearing from the regulated entity itself, ideally the principals of the regulated entity.

2. Cutting and Pasting is now a tool used by everyone. However, the burden is on you to review and double check that the entire document accurately and completely reflects the transaction and involved parties before filing with a regulatory agency.

3. Present the agency with a sound legal theory to consider. Arguments solely along the lines of “Isn’t it fair”; “Who does it hurt”; or” You are the Commissioner-you can do it” are not winning arguments.

4. “If it isn’t written down it never happened.” Regulators change, examiners leave, even General Counsels retire and record retention schedules are adhered to. If it is important, sets a precedent or is a novel matter-memorialize the facts and conclusion. That fact pattern or something similar could be raised again.

5. Regulatory agencies are very busy places. The Division of Banks has responsibility for, among other things, the examination and supervision of banks, credit unions, twelve different types of licensees, Legislative matters and regulations, as well as consumer assistance cases. Help yourself and the regulatory agency by making any presentation complete, well documented, supported and detailed to the issue at hand and your institution and as concise as possible.

This article was prepared by Joseph A. Leonard, Jr., a member of the Banking and Financial Services practice group. For more information, please contact Joe or your Nutter attorney at 617.439.2000.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. Under the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered as advertising.

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