Two Florida planners' fight against the CFP Board over the “fee only” advisor designation experienced another setback on Tuesday.
A U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit ruling threw out Jeffrey and Kimberly Camardas’ appeal of a judgment in favor of the CFP Board last year, the latest kerfuffle in a three-year-old dispute centering on a disciplinary action by the Board against the husband-and-wife team.
The Camardas filed their appeal in August 2015 after a U.S. District Court dismissed their lawsuit against the board for threatening to sanction them for using the term “fee-only” to describe their compensation method.
In addition to their advisory practice, the Fleming Island, Fla., couple owned an insurance company that charged commissions, which the CFP Board argued disqualified them from describing themselves as “fee-only.”
The District Court judge reasoned that the CFP Board, as a private entity, can enforce its own rules as it sees fit.
The appeals court ruled that the CFP Board did not appear to violate any of its own rules or procedures in disciplining the couple.
The advisors could still attempt the have their appeal heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Neither they nor their attorney could be reached for comment.
The CFP Board celebrated the ruling:
“The court’s decision vindicates [the] CFP Board’s ability to enforce its standards through a fair, transparent, peer-review process, ensuring benefits and protections for the public and CFP professionals, now and for years to come,” the board said in a statement released Tuesday.