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Janet DeCosta

Janet has represented clients in more than one hundred FINRA arbitrations and mediations. Janet also is a licensed mediator and, as a consensus builder, she assists parties resolve what they often believe are intractable disputes. With Janet’s depth and range of experience, she has the skill to craft creative resolutions for her clients, whether in the role of advocate or mediator.

Janet additionally has served as an expert witness. Given her experience, she is able to explain sophisticated financial regulatory issues in clearly and directly, whether before a FINRA panel of arbitrators of a jury.

A tenacious advocate

Janet has worked on the both sides of issues impacting investors, broker-dealers, advisory firms, and financial advisors. She has represented industry participants before SEC, FINRA, and state regulatory investigations and proceedings. Janet also assists financial advisors in transition, including those terminated by their firms, as well as those seeking new opportunities in the industry, facing contract disputes, and planning for retirement.

In addition, Janet is a licensed mediator, giving her a nuanced view on the complexities of dispute resolution that ultimately helps her craft creative resolutions for her clients. She has represented clients in more than a hundred FINRA arbitrations and mediations. A consensus builder with experience on both sides of many issues, Janet also is available as a mediator to help parties productively resolve their disputes

With her multifaceted practice, Janet additionally serves as an expert witness in FINRA matters. She is able to explain sophisticated financial regulatory issues in a clear and direct way to juries and courts.

An empathetic representative

Before law school, Janet was a special education teacher and social worker. When she graduated from law school, she was chosen for a position in the highly selective Criminal Division Honors Program at the United States Department of Justice, where she prosecuted Nazi war crimes. She traveled worldwide, conducting depositions of Holocaust survivors and witnesses and obtained judgments in two federal court cases. Not only did this experience provide a solid foundation for her litigation skills, it taught her how to be a good listener and empathize with people in difficult situations.

Janet’s strong track record in a variety of regulatory and litigation matters gives clients confidence in her ability to tackle complex issues. But it is her empathy and responsiveness to client concerns that helps them through what can be a difficult time. With this combination of assertive advocacy and understanding, Janet has one message for her clients: I’m here to help you sleep at night.

  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Certificate—Mediating Disputes Program on Negotiation, Harvard University
  • Mediation Training—Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division, D.C. Superior Court
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts (inactive)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Honors Program
  • Department of Justice Award for Superior Performance
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated
  • Notes and Comments Editor, DePaul Law Review
Civic Involvement
  • HIAS (refugee and asylum assistance nonprofit) Volunteer

Janet comes to SECIL Law after three decades with her own firm, Janet K. DeCosta, P.C., specializing in the full range of issues relating to the financial services industry. She began her career in the Honors Program of the Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, where she assisted in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. She also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Assistant Chief Trial Counsel in the SEC Division of Enforcement, and General Counsel to the National Association of Attorneys General, State Bankruptcy Committee.

Professional activities & memberships
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association