Federal Judge: CFP Board Has Right to Set, Enforce Standards of Professional Conduct

Unsealed Opinion Validates CFP Board's Role in Protecting the Public

Jul 28, 2015, 13:52 ET from Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has unsealed his opinion in support of an order granting Certified Financial Planner Board of Standard's motion for summary judgment and dismissed, in its entirety, the lawsuit that Jeffrey and Kimberly Camarda filed against CFP Board.

Judge Leon's opinion was issued under seal on July 6, 2015. CFP Board requested that it be unsealed to provide the public and CFP® professionals the judge's reasoning for his decision. A copy of the unsealed opinion can be found here.

"This is a significant victory for CFP® certification, for CFP Board and for CFP® professionals," said Richard P. Rojeck, CFP®, Chair of the Board of Directors for CFP Board. "It affirms the integrity of the CFP® certification and CFP Board's role as the standard-setting body for personal financial planners. CFP Board's peer-review disciplinary process is both fair and equitable, and allows CFP® professionals to determine when one of their peers has violated CFP Board's Rules of Conduct. As a result of the Court's decision, the public will be protected because CFP® professionals will continue to be held accountable when their peers have found that they deserve to be sanctioned for their conduct." 

Mr. Rojeck also commended CFP Board's past Board chairs for their steadfast leadership, and CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE for his strong direction and prudent and thoughtful oversight of the litigation.

In his memorandum opinion that followed his order granting summary judgment, Judge Leon noted that CFP Board "followed its own rules throughout the disciplinary proceedings" against the Camardas. The court also found "no evidence that [CFP Board] was motivated by bad faith or ill will" in disciplining the Camardas. Accordingly, the court rejected the Camardas' breach of contract claim against CFP Board, as well as their claims that CFP Board unfairly competed against them and engaged in false advertising by stating that it fairly enforces its disciplinary rules.

"This decision benefits our CFP® professionals, but is especially important for the American consumers they serve," said Mr. Keller, CFP Board's CEO. "CFP Board's enforcement of its Standards, along with its rigorous education, exam and experience requirements, underpins its reputation as the highest standard in financial advice. Our rules and disciplinary process provide assurances to the public that CFP® professionals can be held accountable for their commitment to deliver financial planning services with fiduciary accountability, transparency and competency."

The Camardas filed their lawsuit in June 2013, contesting a determination made by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission and affirmed on appeal by members of CFP Board's Board of Directors that they violated CFP Board's compensation disclosure rules.

The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 72,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.


SOURCE Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.