Tara A. LaClair

Biography

Tara LaClair focuses her practice on financial services and securities litigation, representing banks, brokerage firms, registered investment advisors, insurance companies, trust companies, securities agents, and individuals in customer, product, and employment proceedings, as well as complex and general litigation. Tara also represents insurance companies in bad faith litigation and claims litigation, and represents trust companies and fiduciaries.

Tara also conducts internal investigations and handles regulatory proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state regulatory agencies. She serves as a FINRA arbitrator and is a frequent speaker and author on securities, employment, and dispute resolution issues.

Tara is an experienced trial lawyer. With more than two decades of experience, she has handled all manner of securities disputes, regulatory matters and financial services-related litigation, including sales practice claims, senior client issues, product claims, churning and fee-related claims, fiduciary issues and claims, and bad faith and insurance defense claims. On the employment side, Tara has handled transition cases, raiding claims, unfair competition claims, protocol matters, and promissory note cases. Having tried more than twenty-five matters to conclusion across the country, Tara has appeared in cases in more than forty states.

It is Tara’s willingness to take matters to trial or to a final arbitration hearing on the merits, as well as her dedication to preparation, that allows her to achieve favorable results for her clients – including cost-effective resolutions before trial.

More recently, Tara has consulted and advised on crypto assets, including navigating the developing regulatory landscape. In addition to her extensive work in financial services and the securities industry, Tara also represents international entities, health care professionals, and church organizations in administrative forums, as well as in employment.

Representative Experience

  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated v. Whitney et al; OKND case 4:09-cv-00078-GKF-FHM; (Respondent trial counsel/Related FINRA arbitration Case Number 08-02325 ; All claims denied; Attorney fees awarded; Upheld on appeal)
  • Ellen L. Brown v. Neuberger Berman et al; (FINRA arbitration in Los Angeles, California; Lead trial counsel in securities fraud and other misconduct case; RESULT: After a full hearing on the merits, obtained a full defense verdict.)
  • RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc. v. Morgan Stanley DW, Inc., Dale Frank Johnson, Jr., John Anthony Pennington, Keith Allen Shahan, Samuel Wylie Sloane, Susan Anderson Stroud and James Glenn Tallant; (NASD/FINRA arbitration in Dallas, Texas; Trial counsel in an employment arbitration, including raiding claims; RESULT: After a three week hearing, obtained full defense verdict)
  • Dr. Rabin Nouranifar v. East El Paso Physician’s Medical Center; (AHLA Arbitration in Dallas Texas – Represented Plaintiff in securities fraud claim; RESULT: Obtained full Plaintiff award for client, including attorney fees and costs.)
  • Thomas DeBacco v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated; (FINRA Arbitration in Kansas City, Missouri; Trial counsel for Respondent in case involving allegation of failure to acquire a trust preferred security; RESULT: After a full hearing on the merits, obtained defense verdict)
  • Korbelik v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated; (FINRA Arbitration in Denver, Colorado; Trial counsel in a securities fraud claim alleging $6 million in damages. RESULT: After a three-week hearing on the merits, obtained a complete defense verdict, with costs assessed against claimants)
  • Pana Merchant v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.; (FINRA Arbitration in St. Louis, Missouri; Trial counsel in a case involving assets pledged to secure interests in Lloyds of London; RESULT: After a full hearing on the merits, the Panel found in favor of Respondent, denying all claims.)
  • Schlanger Insurance Trust v. John Hancock Insurance, Inc., et al.; (USDC Northern District of OK Case #10-CV-576-TCK TLW; Variable life insurance policy; RESULT: On the first day of trial, obtained favorable resolution)
  • Hoi Ming Michael Ho v. Duoyuan Global Water, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:10-cv-07233(GBD), (Southern District of New York; Nationwide class action alleging violations of federal securities laws; RESULT: Our client’s motion to dismiss was granted in part, narrowing the claims and allowing for a favorable resolution for our client.)
  • Perry v. Duoyuan Printing, Inc., Case No 10-cv-7235; (Southern District of New York; Class action and securities fraud claims; RESULT: After the matter was dismissed at the trial court level, the parties resolved the case without payment by our client)

Licensed In

  • Oklahoma
  • Michigan
  • California

Education

  • J.D. Pepperdine Caruso School of Law
  • LL.M. Georgetown University Law Center
  • B.A. Eastern Michigan University

Memberships

  • FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Oklahoma Conservation Leadership Academy
  • Leadership Oklahoma City (Class XXXVI)

Achievements

  • The Journal Record 50 Making a Difference Honoree (2019)
  • Named Top 25 Women Super Lawyers in Oklahoma (2022)
  • Listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators (2017)
  • Ranked in Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation, Energy & Natural Resources, Securities & Corporate, Finance, Employment Litigation: Defense (2013 – Present)
  • Named Super Lawyers Rising Star (2008, 2009)
  • Certificate of Special Tribute from the State of Michigan

Related Services

Related News & Resources

News
Oklahoma City, OK – Tara A. LaClair, Jennifer N. Lamirand, Mary “Molly” H. Tolbert, Bruc...

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