Charles Field

Charles Field
Charles Field
SD Partner

(619) 577-4252

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As Co-Chair of the Firm’s Financial Services practice, Mr. Field leverages his decades of practice focused on commercial transactions and regulation to recover investments that have been mishandled or lost.

Our commitment to securing justice and providing the best representation possible is reflected in a commitment to diversity within our own firm. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, we know better than to think the best attorneys look alike, sound alike, think alike, or live alike. What matters is talent, and we hire the best talent available.

As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.

Charles Field talks about the Morgan Stanley ERISA class action on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

Charles Field talks about the Morgan Stanley ERISA class action on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP Financial Services Litigation was recently featured in the San Diego Attorney Journal.

Sanford Heisler Sharp Featured in San Diego Attorney Journal
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Charles H. Field is a partner in the San Diego office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, San Diego, and Nashville. He received his J.D. from McGeorge Law School in 1986 and his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Indiana University-Indianapolis in 1977. Mr. Field also completed European legal studies at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Salzburg.

Mr. Field is Co-Chair with Grant Morris of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Financial Services Litigation practice. He has been practicing in the securities law area for more than 28 years. His practice focuses on protecting the interests of investors. Having served from 2002 to 2013 as the General Counsel of Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management and its successor, Allianz Global Investors Capital, he brings a combination of private practice experience and a deep knowledge of the laws governing investment advisers, broker-dealers, and commodity trading advisers, which he uses to assess whether a seller has breached a legal obligation and to evaluate whether an aggrieved investor can recover damages. In addition to his General Counsel experience, he has held industry roles as Chief Compliance Officer, FINRA General Securities Principal, General Options Principal, and General Municipal Securities Principal.

Mr. Field understands the daily activities and needs of investors and other market participants. He has been involved in matters related to employee relations, including bonus structures, management of 401(k) plans, wage and hour compliance, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Under the ERISA laws, Mr. Field represents employees challenging their employers’ mishandling of their 401 (k) plans and violation of fiduciary standards related to the plan’s investments. Actions on behalf of investors can be brought against employers for mismanagement of investments and for charging inappropriately high fees.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. Mr. Field represents elder victims of financial abuse under state laws, including California Elder Abuse Law. Seniors are often dependent on others to handle their personal and financial affairs and unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to financial advisors who take advantage of a lack of oversight.

Investors, both the most sophisticated and novices, are vulnerable to stockbrokers, investment advisers and financial planners who operate not in the client’s interest, but in their own interest by churning accounts, buying unsuitable investments and charging excessive fees. Mr. Field seeks justice for abused investors, based on decades of experience and his knowledge of the laws in place to protect investors.

Another risk area for investors is the sale of various forms of annuity contracts and universal life schemes — retirement, insurance, and saving products — promising to be the “silver bullet” of investments with unusually high yields and often a cash bonus paid up front. Unfortunately, the real benefit is the commissions paid to the agents and not the dividends paid to the investor. A number of class actions have been filed and settled in this area of continuing the abuse. Sanford Heisler Sharp will analyze your policy and the sales materials and advise you on the appropriate course of action.

Mr. Field is licensed to practice in California and Indiana and in the Federal Court of the Southern District of California. He is a member of the San Diego and California Associations and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Society of Compliance Professionals. He is a frequent speaker to business, professional and service groups on a variety of securities law and regulatory topics.

Click here to read an Amicus Brief Mr. Field wrote in support of the new Department of Labor’s Fiduciary rule.


  • J.D., McGeorge Law School 1986
  • B.A., Indiana University-Indianapolis 1977
  • European legal studies the University of Edinburgh and the University of Salzburg


  • California, 1997

Madison Avenue Securities LLC FINRA Arbitration – $2.1 Million Award

In the fight to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, Sanford Heisler Sharp has obtained a $2.1 million FINRA arbitration award on behalf of a San Diego client whose investment nest egg was decimated by an imprudent, high-risk investment strategy that her stockbroker David Barber had recommended.

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General Electric ERISA Class Action

The Complaint asserts that GE and the Plan violated the Federal Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) by breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in prohibited transactions and unlawful self-dealing detrimental to the three named plaintiffs individually and as representatives of a class.

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Morgan Stanley ERISA Class Action

The complaint states the company invests employees’ retirement savings in multiple funds that consistently underperform compared to other similar collective investment funds. The company also steers these investments to Morgan Stanley’s own poorly performing mutual funds, profiting off employees’ retirement savings.

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Cryptocurrencies: A Virtual Mine Field

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum, are intended to serve as a type of digital money that consumers can use in everyday commercial transactions. They may be traded on online exchanges for conventional currencies, including the U.S. dollar, or be used to purchase goods or services, usually online.  But with one bitcoin recently trading at […]

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《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》- 加州老年人的强力法律武器

美国人口正日趋老龄化。人们在变老的同时,心智能力也会随之减弱,包括变得孤立、依赖于他人以及常感惊恐。而一些倾其一生积累了一定财富的老年人很容易成为一些不法分子的侵害目标。 这个侵害过程通常开始得很简单。一位投资知识有限或是英语能力有限的老年人开了一个投资账户并买入了一些固定收益股票。他希望得到一些可靠的投资建议,这样就能靠这些股票的收益安然度过余生。然而,在开户后的几个月时间里,开户券商就擅自把这位老人的账户类别设置成了激进型并批准该账户进行融资融券交易和期权交易。 紧接着该账户频繁进行针对于高风险股票和其他不当投资产品的高速当日交易。这些不当投资包括细价股、期权合同以及与大宗商品和珍稀金属的价值相关联的杠杆交易买卖基金。这个拥有50万资产的账户进行了超过2000万数额的交易额。因为这位老年人的投资知识和英语能力有限,很明显这些交易并不是他自己操作的。实际情况是他的证券经纪人违反了经纪义务,控制了该账户并通过过度交易来收取佣金。最终结果是这位老年人亏损了他一辈子的积蓄。 很多老年人遇到这种情况之后不愿意站出来。有些是出于羞愧心理,有些是不知道如何维护自己的权益,还有些人则是两者皆有。其实他们根本不需要这样。加州的老年人有一个强有力的法律武器可以随时使用,那就是《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》。根据该法律,“侵害老年人财务”指的是当一个人或机构窃取、藏匿、占用、获得或者保留老年人或未独立成年人的个人财产或是不动产来进行不法使用且/或意图欺诈,并且知道或应当知道其行为极有可能造成伤害。对客户的股票经纪账户通过上述方式进行不当管理正是《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》意在惩罚的行为,而且这些惩罚非常严厉。 首先,当股票经纪人被法院认定为侵害了老年人的财务权利时,法院必须判决给这位老年人补偿性赔偿款、合理的律师费用与支出以及法律提供的所有其他救济手段。 “法律提供的其他救济手段”指的是什么呢?如果股票经纪人被判定为压迫、欺诈或恶意,那么这位老年人除了可以获得实际损害赔偿之外,还可以根据《加州民法通则》第3294条获得惩罚性赔偿,作为对被告的惩罚以及对他们的警示。除了惩罚性赔偿之外,《加州民法通则》第3345条还允许法院在消费者欺诈案件中在满足以下情况下判罚三倍的赔偿金: 被告明知他的行为是针对于老年人的, 被告造成了该老年人收入的损失或是严重的财产损失,而这些财产是老年人专门为退休或个人或家庭维持生计准备的,或是这些财产对于该老年人的健康或福利非常关键,并且 由于年龄和受损的心智,该老年人面对被告的非法行为远比其他公众脆弱,并且被告的行为确实对他造成了严重的精神和财产损失。 总而言之,在《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》的保护下,受害人可以获得实际损失和律师费用的赔偿。如果被告有严重不法行为,受害人还可以获得惩罚性赔偿和三倍的赔偿。由此可见,《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》可以将相对很小的案子转变成有可能对股票经纪人和券商造成巨大损失和风险的案子。这样的法律保护机制为老年人提供了强有力的保护,也最大程度地扼制了那些违法分子进行犯罪作业。 如果您是投资欺诈的受害者,您应该勇敢地站出来捍卫自己的权利。如果您觉得自己或亲朋好友是侵害老年人财务犯罪的受害者,请尽快联系我们旧金山或圣地亚哥办公室的金融诉讼律师进行咨询。

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California Financial Elder Abuse Statute – A Powerful Weapon for California’s Seniors

Click here to read the Chinese version of this post America’s population is aging. As people age, their mental faculties can diminish. They can become isolated, dependent, and frightened.  Seniors who accumulated wealth over their lifetimes become attractive targets for unscrupulous people who prey on their vulnerabilities. It generally begins rather simply. A senior citizen […]

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Investment Fraud – Traps for the Unwary

Financial matters can be bewildering. Stockbrokers are supposed to help simplify the complexities and steer us in the right direction. But sometimes, stockbrokers care more about earning commissions than they do your well-being. It results in customers being stuck with dismal investments. Customers who complain are met with vigorous denials often supported by reams of […]

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401(K) Mismanagement: How to Recognize the Signs

Each year, millions of hard-working employees invest billions of dollars in their employer’s 401(k) plans because they trust their employer to provide a best of class plan. Often, however, the employer’s endeavors are tainted by a failure of effort, competence and/or loyalty.  Employees’ hard-earned retirement savings are exposed unnecessarily to wasted fees and poor investment […]

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L-Share Annuities: Stale Wine in a New Bottle

Annuities are a constant subject of litigation, and for good reason. Although the companies that pitch annuities describe them as relatively simple products, they are anything but.  These are complex contracts with high fees, long lock-up periods and bewildering disclosure documents. Basically, an annuity is a life insurance policy that is bundled with a separate […]

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Who is Lee D. Weiss? On Financial Adviser Misconduct

Not everyone will recognize the name Lee D. Weiss, but many might know or have heard of people just like him, who have engaged in a similar type of misconduct. So who is this man and what did he do? Lee D. Weiss was the primary owner and served as the managing partner of Family […]

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Private Equity Investors Beware

Private equity conjures up images of billionaires investing in success stories like Facebook and Tesla. Often, though, private equity investments come from retired persons who have labored a lifetime accumulating wealth for their golden years.  But when seniors fall prey to investments like Prometheus Law PLCMGMT LLC and Metropolitan Coffee and Concession, their golden dreams […]

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SEC Rewards Ex-Employees More Than $8 Million for Reporting Employer Misconduct

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will pay a former company employee who reported potential securities law violations between $5 million and $6 million — the third-largest award to date under the SEC’s whistleblower program. The tipster at the unnamed company had alerted the SEC to violations of securities law that the SEC […]

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Are You a Victim of a Ponzi Scheme? Find Out.

Ponzi scheme victims suffer investment fraud, which can literally rob individuals of their savings. Learn here about a Ponzi scheme and what to do if you fall victim to this investment ploy. Ponzi scheme The grandfather of Ponzi schemes was Charles Ponzi, whose ideas for growing money took fruition in the 1920s. In the case […]

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