Tara A. LaClair


Office: Oklahoma City
Email: tara.laclair@crowedunlevy.com

Phone: 405.235.7732
Fax: 405.272.5928
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Tara LaClair is a director and serves as co-chair of the firm's Securities Litigation, Enforcement & Compliance Practice Group, focusing her practice on securities arbitration and broker-dealer litigation. She represents national broker-dealers and registered representatives in arbitration, court and regulatory proceedings involving sales practice, compliance and employment matters.

Tara also assists municipal issuers (and other obligated persons) in public offerings, including continuing disclosure matters and regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. With the SEC's increasing focus in this area, having experienced counsel ready to assist and respond is critical. Tara also routinely assists in the preparation of written policies and procedures, which can help reduce the costs associated with these disclosure obligations and enforcement actions, as well as aiding in controlling your liability exposure under SEC Rule 15c2-12 and/or Rule 10(b)-5.

When municipal activities fall under such scrutiny, Tara assist clients during investigations and enforcement actions to alleviate risks for municipal advisors and issuers, as well as the officials and employees. She helps clients prepare before and during an SEC investigation.

Tara holds an LL.M. in securities and financial institution regulation from Georgetown University Law School and is admitted to practice in California, Michigan and Oklahoma, as well as in the federal courts of Colorado, Ohio and Oklahoma. She appears regularly before the FINRA and the SEC, and interned with the California Department of Corporations.

An accomplished attorney, Tara has been listed as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2008 and 2009. She was also listed in Super Lawyers (2013-2014, 2017). She was named to the America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in 2017.*

*Crowe & Dunlevy has no input in the rating methodologies used by Super Lawyers or America's Top 100.

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Professional 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 vs. Neuberger Berman et al, FINRA Case No. 10-01149 (Respondent trial counsel / All claims denied)
  • Robert and Debra Korbelick v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, FINRA ID #10-04476; (Respondent Counsel, obtained complete defense verdict, including attorney fees assessed against Claimant)
  • Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc et al v. Juntunen et al; Case 5:11-cv-00914-R; (Expungement granted in related FINRA arbitration)
  • Pana Merchant v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., (FINRA Case Number: 08-00381) (Respondent trial counsel/All claims denied)
  • RBC Dain Rauscher Inc. vs. Morgan Stanely DW Inc. et al; FINRA Case Number 05-06247; (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • F. William Thetford, individually, and on behalf of F. William Thetford, A Professional Corporation v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. et al; NYSE Case Number 2004-015024; (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • Marilyn V. Dietz vs. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.; NASD Case Number: 05-01581 (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • John S. Valeriano and Anita L. Valeriano v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. et al; FINRA/NASD Case Number: 05-02376; (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • Stanley Cunningham v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. et al; NYSE Docket: 2003-014830; (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • Jon Steiner v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. et al; NASD Case Number: 05-01715; (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • Thomas A. Wolverton v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. et al; NASD Case Number: 03-08277; (Respondent trial counsel / all claims denied)
  • Ray R. Mize, Individually and as Trustee of the Ray R. Mize Trust, and Cynthia Mize v. National Financial Partners Corp., Retirement Investment Advisors, Inc., Research Holdings, LLC., Bowie, Thurman and Associates, LL.C., Joseph Bowie and Randy Thurman; CJ-2013-5978 (Plaintiff Counsel; After a lengthy discovery battle, we obtained a favorable settlement);
  • Schlanger Insurance Trust v. John Hancock Insurance, Inc., et al.; USDC Northern District of OK Case #10-CV-576-TCK TLW (Defense Counsel; Matter Resolved)
  • Stanley Pomichter vs. Goldman Sachs & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; FINRA Case No.: 07-02913; (Claimant Counsel; Obtained an award in favor of Claimant)
  • Diana Vulcan v. Community Medical Center f/k/a Missoula Community Medical Center, and Howard Johnson & Co. a/k/a Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; DDV-08-1258, Montana Thirteenth District (Yellowstone, Co.) (Obtained Dismissal for Defendant Merrill Lynch & Co.)
  • *Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its merits.

Honors & Awards

  • Cum Laude; Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition for Copyright Law
  • American Jurisprudence Award and CALI Awards in Remedies
  • Certificate of Special Tribute from the State of Michigan
  • 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, 2014, 2017)
  • Named Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2008 and 2009

Published Works

  • "Current Fiduciary Rules Mean Greater Protection for Investors," The Oklahoman (2018)
  • "Seniors are advised to discuss disability planning with their advisers," The Oklahoman (2016)
  • "Standard severance agreements may need to be revised," The Oklahoman (2016)
  • "Consider the Benefits of Arbitration," Article for The Credit Professional Magazine (2015)

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants – Competency and Senior Client Concerns (2017)
  • Speaker, Oklahoma Securities Conference - Volatile Stock Markets and Your Senior Clients (2015)
  • Speaker, International Pentecostal Holiness Church Conference - Current Issues and Recent Developments (2015)
  • Speaker, "Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Arbitration," 2015 CPI & MACA Conference, March 26-28, 2015, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, Crowe & Dunlevy 2015 Securities Conference: Volatile Stock Markets and Your Senior Clients, December 1, 2015, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, Mid-American Credit Professionals Conference, Benefits of Arbitrating Commercial Disputes (2014)
  • Speaker, Oklahoma Securities Conference -  Updates in Securities Arbitration (2013)
  • Speaker, Heartland Compliance Conference - Current Compliance Topics and Best Practices (2013)
  • Speaker, Heartland Compliance Conference - Case Studies and Best Practices (2012)
  • Speaker, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants - Compliance Techniques for Financial Planners (2010)
  • Speaker, Council of Bishops “Annual Secular Law Briefing” (2017)
  • Speaker, GA&A “SEC Evolving Regulatory Focus and Concerns” (2018)
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