In a rare appeal to the five-member Securities and Exchange Commission of an administrative law judge's decision against a financial advisor, a lawyer asked that $860,000 in sanctions and a bar against the advisor from working in the industry be rescinded, primarily because of a missed deadline.

In April, SEC Judge Brenda Murray imposed the costs and industry employment prohibition on now former fee-based Atlanta financial advisor Ernest Montford Sr. for failing to tell clients (all not for profits) he received $210,000 from investment manager Stanley Kowalewski in 2011 in exchange for steering $80 million of their investments to him.

In 2011, the year he got the payments, the money from Kowalewski accounted for 25 percent of his firm’s income for that year.

During Tuesday’s appeal hearing, Tony Cochran, an attorney for Montford, spent most of his time arguing that the SEC should drop the punishment because it failed to comply with a Dodd-Frank Act provision that the agency’s enforcement division contact Montford within 180 days of sending the one-time advisor an investigative, Wells notice about whether or not administrative charges would be filed. Montford was told penalties would be sought seven days after that date. The agency itself has missed numerous Dodd-Frank deadlines by months for failure to write rules.

Cochran also called excessive Murphy’s imposition of $500,000 against his company (he was the sole owner), $150,000 against him personally and restitution of the $210,000 he got from Kowalewski.

In her original order, the administrative law judge said the sanctions were in order because Montford had shown a high level of deceit and reckless disregard to his clients. She added the high penalty should deter other fiduciaries from “similar self-serving conduct.”

This was the first appeal of an administrative law judge’s ruling against an advisor that the SEC has heard in over a year.

In 2012, the commission reviewed only three cases concerning investment advisors following a total of nine in 2011 and four in 2010.

The SEC is expected to make a decision on the appeal in several weeks.