Brian Smiley is Of Counsel with the law firm of Smiley Bishop & Porter LLP. Brian was born in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Atlanta. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Emory College, graduating in 1975 with highest honors. Following graduation, Brian attended Emory University School of Law, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Emory Law Journal, and was initiated as a member of the Order of the Coif.
Upon graduation (with distinction) in 1978, Brian was appointed as a Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. There, Brian acted as counsel for the United States in cases which were deemed by the Attorney General to be of “unusual importance” to the federal government, including Nixon v. United States, constitutional cases, and litigation involving the NATO treaty.
In 1981, Brian returned to Atlanta and ventured into private practice. As a litigator, Brian has handled constitutional and civil rights suits, product liability claims, personal injury litigation, commercial controversies, shareholders’ derivative suits, fidelity bond claims, RICO suits, and securities litigation and arbitration. Since the 1980s, Brian has concentrated in the securities field, primarily representing investors in arbitrations conducted before the New York Stock Exchange and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is the world’s largest forum for the arbitration and mediation of disputes involving the securities industry.
Brian has conducted arbitrator training sessions and has served as a FINRA arbitrator. He is the author of numerous articles including: “Stockbroker-Customer Disputes—Making a Case for Arbitration,” (Georgia State Bar Journal, May 1987); “Spotting Common Forms of Stockbroker Misconduct” (The Verdict, Jan. – Feb. 1991); “The Law and Ethics of Witness Preparation” (Practicing Law Institute, 1998); and “Breaking the Nest Egg: Using Traditional Theories to Handle New Cases” (Practicing Law Institute, 2007). Brian has also co-authored articles for The Neutral Corner, FINRA’s official publication for its arbitrators. Brian often speaks about broker misconduct, investment fraud, arbitration law, strategy, and legal ethics at seminars sponsored by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, the Practicing Law Institute, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Smart Money, and Businessweek, and has also appeared on CNN.
Brian has also testified at special hearings by the Secretary of State of Georgia as an expert about the “penny stock” industry, and before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on the topics of securities fraud and securities industry arbitration.
From 2002 to 2007, Brian served on the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC). The thirteen members of the NAMC advise the Board of Directors of FINRA. The NAMC is actively involved in the drafting of arbitration rules and the recruitment, training, and evaluation of arbitrators. Brian served as Chairman of the NAMC Rules & Procedures Subcommittee.
In 2008, Brian was elected President of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. PIABA, founded in 1990, is an international bar association of approximately 500 attorneys which is dedicated to promoting the interests of investors who are subject to mandatory arbitration of disputes against securities brokerage firms. Brian continues to serve as a director of PIABA. Most recently, he has been appointed as one of three public representatives to the Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration (SICA), at which representatives of the SEC, FINRA, the states, public investors, and the securities industry deliberate on rules concerning securities arbitration.
Brian has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s rating of “AV® Preeminent”1 which is the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and was named by Georgia Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in Georgia for 2020. Only 5% of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers.