Robert Doty provides municipal bond litigation consulting, forensic analysis, and municipal bond expert witness services to legal counsel relating to a broad spectrum of issues concerning the municipal securities market. The issues include, among other things: the structure, documentary terms, implementation and constitutional, statutory, and documentary priority of a wide variety of state and local government securities (*see examples in the Note below of varying types of municipal securities); state, local and private projects and programs funded with municipal securities; federal and state assistance programs; municipal bond market customs, practices and standards of care; disclosure, due diligence, fiduciary and regulatory roles and responsibilities of parties in primary offerings, the secondary market, workouts and other transactions in municipal securities; municipal securities law and regulation; and municipal finance in general.
*Note: Various categories of municipal securities include, among others, the following: limited and unlimited tax-, assessment- and revenue-secured municipal bonds, notes, special revenue obligations, senior and subordinated obligations, leases, appropriation obligations, moral obligations, general fund obligations, certificates of participation, variable interest rate obligations (VRDOs and VRDNs), installment purchase agreements, pooled securities, and obligations of public-private partnerships.
With the advent of municipal advisor regulation in 2010 pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the statutory fiduciary duty of municipal advisors to municipal bond issuers under federal law, and the fiduciary duty of municipal advisors to municipal bond issuers and obligated persons under state common law, have gained significantly enhanced focus and emphasis in the municipal bond market. The overall fiduciary duty concept includes, among other things, the fiduciary duty of care and the fiduciary duty of loyalty, together with related fiduciary duties. In that connection, it is noteworthy that municipal advisors generally serve their clients in agency capacities, providing advice and representing the clients’ interests in dealings with numerous third parties in the conduct of bond issues.
Further, the Dodd-Frank Act contains a statutory antifraud prohibition for municipal advisors. Moreover, MSRB Rule G-17 contains a fair dealing mandate for municipal advisors and prohibits “any deceptive, dishonest, or unfair practice” in “the conduct of … municipal advisory activities.” MSRB Rule G-42 adds numerous important specific mandates and prohibitions applicable to municipal advisors.
As a former financial and municipal advisor for more than 20 years, and as a lawyer who has taught and studied fiduciary duty at many points throughout his career, Mr. Doty is well-qualified to assist counsel, who may not always be intimately familiar with key nuances of fiduciary duty and agency principles, in understanding the roles and responsibilities of financial advisors and other municipal advisors. As a municipal advisor expert witness and litigation consultant, Mr. Doty is familiar with the Dodd-Frank Act, MSRB rules and key market resources that provide substantial guidance to counsel in this complex area.
Over a more than 30-year period, Mr. Doty has provided municipal securities litigation consulting and municipal bond expert witness services for counsel relating to disputes in almost three dozen states. Mr. Doty has participated in more than 160 municipal and corporate securities matters, and has testified as a finance industry expert witness in depositions and at trial approximately 80 times. Mr. Doty and his business, AGFS®, are located in Annapolis, Maryland.
Mr. Doty, President and Proprietor of AGFS, participated for more than 45 years in billions of dollars of successful transactions in municipal bonds, municipal securities offerings, workouts of defaulted and other troubled municipal bond issues conducted by others, and corporate finance transactions benefiting local governments and private corporations in approximately two dozen states across the nation. Mr. Doty continues to serve as consultant to, and municipal bond expert witness on municipal finance in consultation with, legal counsel to municipal securities issuers, underwriters, municipal advisors, bond counsel, trustees, investors and governmental agencies. AGFS no longer provides financial advisory services to state and local governments or obligated persons involved in municipal securities offerings.
In his litigation consulting work with attorneys, Mr. Doty emphasizes municipal bond industry customs, practices and standards of care and the roles and responsibilities of market participants. Mr. Doty has an extensive familiarity with a wealth of recognized and authoritative industry literature, data, analysis and guidance published by leading municipal bond market commentators, regulators, databanks, and market organizations representing issuers, investors, underwriters, municipal advisors and legal counsel. Those resources often provide important qualitative and quantitative support for Mr. Doty’s expert opinions, which he uses actively in forming his opinions and in preparing his reports. In his work, among other things, Mr. Doty provides to counsel financial information and consultancy services, including among other things, financial information and consultancy services relating to municipal bonds and municipal finance; financial advice and consultancy services relating to state and local government loan programs for consumers, homeowners and businesses; and financial consultation in the field of state and local government securities transactions.
For information regarding Mr. Doty’s consultation approach, go to his Lawyers Monthly Interview.
For information regarding Mr. Doty’s qualifications, publications and municipal bond market participation, go to Experience Highlights, Financing Experience, and Curriculum Vitae, and for information regarding Mr. Doty’s litigation consultation and municipal bond expert witness services and experience, go to Consulting with Lawyers.
Mr. Doty has published more than 80 articles and several books on municipal bonds. Mr. Doty’s publications have been cited favorably by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and in judicial decisions on municipal securities law.
Mr. Doty wrote EXPANDING MUNICIPAL SECURITIES ENFORCEMENT: PROFOUND CHANGES FOR ISSUERS AND OFFICIALS (International Municipal Lawyers Association, 2016). The book discusses significant expansion from 2013 to 2016 in the enforcement activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to municipal bond issuers and officials. Not only did the scope of securities law enforcement actions increase greatly during that period in terms of number and subject matter, but today the sanctions imposed are substantially more exacting for both municipal issuers and issuer officials, as well as for underwriters, municipal advisors and other market participants.
Mr. Doty is the author of MUNICIPAL SECURITIES LAW & PRACTICE: REGULATION, DISCLOSURE AND ENFORCEMENT, 212 Securities Practice Series (Bloomberg BNA 2014, rev. 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), which discusses the pattern of securities regulation in the municipal securities market and enforcement actions over the past 45 years.
The BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS, which discusses in plain English the diversity and complexity of municipal finance, is well-illustrated by John Wiley & Sons, with substantial data and graphical illustrations provided by Bloomberg L.P. It is in four-color throughout, with numerous tabular and graphical illustrations, Tips for Investors, Definitions, Key Points, Step by Step guides, references to resources, discussion of the MSRB’s EMMA document library, and other features.
The electronic edition of the BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS for I-Pads, Kindle, and Nooks adds videos, tests for investors, active web links, pop-ups and other active and colorful features that make the book a unique and highly professional product that is easy to use and understand.
Municipal Bonds Expert Witness Services: Robert Doty offers municipal securities expert witness and municipal bonds litigation and other legal consulting services for lawyers. As noted above, in more than 30 years of litigation consulting experience with lawyers regarding municipal bonds and the municipal securities market, Mr. Doty has participated in more than 160 municipal and corporate securities matters in three dozen states, and has testified as a finance industry expert witness in depositions and at trial approximately 80 times. Mr. Doty has testified as an expert witness on the finance industry in federal courts in Kentucky, Illinois and Iowa, and state courts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Virginia; before Administrative Law Judges of the Securities and Exchange Commission; before arbitration panels of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the American Arbitration Association; and by video before a New Mexico special legislative investigative Subcommittee in an impeachment proceeding. A list of Mr. Doty’s litigation consulting and municipal bonds expert witness engagements is available upon request.
As appropriate, Mr. Doty works with plaintiff and defense counsel in municipal securities litigation with respect to a wide range of issues relating to municipal securities and the municipal securities market, the roles and responsibilities of issuers, financial and other municipal advisors, underwriters, counsel, trustees, feasibility consultants, appraisers, investors and other participants in municipal securities transactions, and regarding prevailing disclosure, due diligence and fiduciary duty customs, practices and standards of care in the municipal bond market. Mr. Doty is licensed by bar regulatory associations or authorities in Maryland, the District of Columbia, California (inactive), New York (inactive), Texas (inactive), and Ohio (inactive).
AGFS® is a registered trademark of Robert W. Doty.