The Texas Securities Act - Part 19
K. Unenforceability of Illegal Contracts.
No person who has made or engaged in the performance of any contract in violation of any provision of this Act or any rule or order or requirement hereunder, or who has acquired any purported right under any such contract with knowledge of the facts by reason of which its making or performance was in violation, may base any suit on the contract.
L. Waivers Void.
A condition, stipulation, or provision binding a buyer or seller of a security or a purchaser of services rendered by an investment adviser or investment adviser representative to waive compliance with a provision of this Act or a rule or order or requirement hereunder is void.
M. Saving of Existing Remedies.
The rights and remedies provided by this Act are in addition to any other rights (including exemplary or punitive damages) or remedies that may exist at law or in equity.
N. Limitation of Liability in Small Business Issuances.
(1) For purposes of this Section 33N, unless the context otherwise requires, "small business issuer" means an issuer of securities that, at the time of an offer to which this Section 33N applies:
(a) has annual gross revenues in an amount that does not exceed $25 million; and
(b) does not have a class of equity securities registered, or required to be registered, with the Securities and Exchange Commission under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (15 U.S.C. Section 781).
(2) This Section 33N applies only to:
(a) an offer of securities made by a small business issuer or by the seller of securities of a small business issuer that is in an aggregate amount that does not exceed $5 million; and
(b) a person who has been engaged to provide services relating to an offer of securities described by Section 33N(2)(a), including an attorney, an accountant, a consultant, or the firm of the attorney, accountant, or consultant.
(3) The maximum amount that may be recovered against a person to which this Section 33N applies in any action or series of actions under Section 33 relating to an offer of securities to which this Section 33N applies is an amount equal to three times the fee paid by the issuer or other seller to the person for the services related to the offer of securities, unless the trier of fact finds the person engaged in intentional wrongdoing in providing the services.
(4) A small business issuer making an offer of securities shall provide to the prospective buyer a written disclosure of the limitation of liability created by this Section 33N and shall receive a signed acknowledgement that the disclosure was provided.
Sec. 33-1. Civil Liability of Investment Advisers and Investment Adviser Representatives.
A. Liability of Investment Advisers and Investment Adviser Representatives.
(1) An investment adviser or investment adviser representative who renders services as an investment adviser in violation of Section 12 or an order under Section 23B or 23-2 of this Act is liable to the purchaser, who may sue at law or in equity, for damages in the amount of any consideration paid for the services.
(2) Except as provided by Subsection C of this section, an investment adviser or investment adviser representative who commits fraud or engages in a fraudulent practice in rendering services as an investment adviser is liable to the purchaser, who may sue at law or in equity, for damages.
In damages under Subsection A(2) of this section, the purchaser is entitled to recover:
(1) the amount of any consideration paid for the services, less the amount of any income the purchaser received from acting on the services;
(2) any loss incurred by the person in acting on the services provided by the adviser or representative;
(3) interest at the legal rate for judgments accruing from the date of the payment of consideration; and
(4) to the extent the court considers equitable, court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
C. Untruth or Omission.
An investment adviser or investment adviser representative who in rendering services as an investment adviser makes a false statement of a material fact or omits to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statement made, in light of the circumstances under which the statement is made, not misleading, may not be found liable under Subsection A(2) of this section if the adviser or representative proves:
(1) the purchaser knew of the truth or omission; or
(2) the adviser or representative did not know, and in the exercise of reasonable care could not have known, of the untruth or omission.
D. Statute of Limitations.
(1) A person may not sue under Subsection A(1) of this section more than three years after the violation occurred.
(2) A person may not sue under Subsection A(2) of this section more than five years after the violation occurs or more than three years after the person knew or should have known, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, of the occurrence of the violation.
E. Liability of Control Persons and Assistants.
(1) A person who directly or indirectly controls an investment adviser is jointly and severally liable with the investment adviser under this section, and to the same extent as the investment adviser, unless the controlling person sustains the burden of proof that the person did not know, and in the exercise of reasonable care could not have known, of the existence of the facts by reason of which liability is alleged to exist.
(2) A person who directly or indirectly with intent to deceive or defraud or with reckless disregard for the truth or the law materially aids an investment adviser in conduct for which a cause of action is authorized by this section is jointly and severally liable with the investment adviser in an action to recover damages under this section.
F. A remedy provided by this section is not exclusive of any other applicable remedy provided by law.
Sec. 34. Actions for Commission; Allegations and Proof of Compliance.
No person or company shall bring or maintain any action in the courts of this state for collection of a commission or compensation for services rendered in the sale or purchase of securities, as that term is defined in this Act, without alleging and proving that such person or company was duly registered under the provisions of this Act (or duly exempt from such registration pursuant to rules adopted under Section 12C of this Act) and the securities so sold were duly registered under the provisions of this Act at the time the alleged cause of action arose; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any company or person that rendered services in connection with any transaction exempted by Section 5 of this Act or by any rule promulgated by the Board pursuant to Subsection T of Section 5 of this Act if the company or person was not required to be registered by the terms of the exemption.