Whistleblowers and Victims of Fraud
Lawyers Representing Parties in FINRA Arbitrations Across the United States
Brokers and financial advisors sometimes make inappropriate or unsuitable investment recommendations, and their poor choices can lead to significant financial losses. While nearly all investments carry some degree of risk, losses that arise out of fraudulent or negligent conduct may constitute grounds for pursuing civil claims against the responsible party. In cases where the recommendation was made by a non-licensed individual, those cases can be filed in court. But disputes with financial advisors and stock brokers are usually handled through FINRA arbitration.
If you sustained losses due to the fraudulent or negligent acts of your investment advisor or broker, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney regarding the various methods to obtain compensation for your losses. The securities attorneys at Pugsley Wood, LLP have decades of experience filing cases against financial services professionals.
What is FINRA?
FINRA, or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is not a government agency but is an independent organization empowered by Congress to make sure investors receive fair and honest treatment. In other words, FINRA is tasked with regulating brokerage firms and brokers to prevent them from engaging in misconduct. FINRA not only drafts regulations and ensures compliance with them, but it also maintains an arbitration forum where investors can file their claims and seek to recover their losses. In fact, the vast majority of securities disputes are handled via FINRA arbitration because most investors sign arbitration agreements when they open their brokerage accounts. The outcome of FINRA arbitrations are final and binding and will only be reviewed under limited circumstances.
The FINRA Arbitration Process
The FINRA arbitration process begins with the filing of a Statement of Claim. The claimant, or party that files the Statement, must set forth details regarding the alleged harm, including the theory of liability, identify the entities and individuals that caused the losses complained of, including any relevant dates, and explain the relief sought. The claimant can seek monetary damages, interest, or the performance of a contract. They must also file a Submission Agreement and any applicable forum fees. After the claimant files the Statement, the respondent, who is the party that allegedly caused the claimant’s harm, must file an answer setting forth relevant facts and defenses to the claims.
After the Statement of Claim has been filed and answered, the parties will choose one to three arbitrators from a list provided by FINRA. The number of arbitrators that will hear the case depends on the size of the damages asserted. After the arbitrator or arbitration panel is selected, FINRA will schedule an Initial Prehearing Conference, during which the parties will choose the pertinent dates and deadlines for the matter and discuss any other preliminary matters. The parties will then engage in discovery, during which they may seek and be asked to produce information and documents to support their claims and defenses, like financial statements, tax returns, and records of communications.
Once the parties complete discovery, they may be able to resolve the claim independently. If they cannot, an arbitration hearing will be held, during which they will each have an opportunity to present their case. Hearings may last a few days to weeks, depending on the complexity of the case. The arbitrator or panel will review the evidence offered and will ultimately issue a decision within thirty days of the end of the hearing.
Meet with a Proficient Attorney Regarding Your FINRA Arbitration
Securities litigation can be protracted, complicated, and costly, and the outcome may not be favorable regardless of the strength of the plaintiff’s evidence. If you have suffered financial losses due to the negligence or fraudulent activity of your broker or financial advisor, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your options for seeking justice. The experienced securities lawyers of Pugsley Wood are adept at helping parties fight to protect their financial interests. We have offices in Boston and Salt Lake City and we frequently represent people in FINRA cases throughout the United States. You can contact us by calling toll free at (855) 550-8300 or through our online form below to schedule a confidential and free conference.
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- 1 Over $100 Million in Awards Obtained
- 2 Over 75 Years of Collective Experience
- 3 Handling Cases in the U.S. and Internationally