Experienced California FINRA Securities Lawyers Help Investors Move Forward
Securities arbitration is complex, but Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles investors don’t have to manage it alone
The investment world lends itself so much to miscommunication, disagreement and misconduct that Congress created the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), charging it with ensuring that investors and brokers deal with each other fairly and openly. When you invest with a brokerage firm, your agreement likely includes a mandatory arbitration provision, stating that should any disputes arise between you and the firm, you agree to arbitrate those disputes rather than seeking relief from the court system. Most investors will never experience such an arbitration, but those that do will do so through FINRA.
When California investors become involved in securities arbitration, they turn to The Frankowski Firm to represent their interests. Our California FINRA securities lawyers have spent decades navigating the FINRA process. We have the experience to help guide you through the system after the pain of betrayal by a financial broker or investment professional.
The FINRA arbitration system works to streamline conflict resolution
FINRA arbitration is as an alternative form of resolving legal conflicts between investors and their brokers or advisors. Arbitration helps limit the time delays and costs associated with the court system. FINRA stands ready to determine justice for all investors more quickly and cost effective than the courts.
None of this is to say that arbitration through the FINRA process is easy. Even some seasoned investment professionals and financial lawyers lack the necessary familiarity with the nuances of the proceedings to be effective. While FINRA does not require that an investor retain legal assistance, those who do tend to have more favorable outcomes.
Various types of penalties for investment professionals in violation
While investors can seek financial restitution, along with penalties, the outcomes for the involved professionals go beyond mere dollars and cents paid out. Not all penalties are permanent — some are temporary. However, the FINRA website offers searchable history of every registered broker and professional, so investors can get a clearer picture of the history of their potential advisor prior to becoming financially vested. FINRA is especially clear on one point: recidivists, or repeat offenders, will see more severe punishments.
Some of the possible sanctions include:
- Disciplinary actions. This can refer to a formal censure or other professional etiquettes for handling negative situations.
- Monetary fines. These can range in value and are usually commensurate to the level of the criminal action involved.
- Rescission. Rescission is an offer to buy back the security involved in the arbitration case.
- Restitution. Restitution is used when rescission is not an option, as is often the case in the fast-paced financial world, to make good on an investment or to return the client to the pre-incident financial status.
- Disgorgement is paying back any personal profits made via misconduct.
- Suspensions. These can vary in duration, but effectively limit the investment professional’s ability to work with clients, but not in the field, during the time period.
- Bars. A bar is more significant than a suspension, as it involves a cessation of all work in the financial industry for the duration of a designated time period.
- Expulsions. These are almost universally permanent, and generally reserved for the most serious situations of professional misconduct, or the greatest financial losses by an investor.
In California, investors know they have an ally for securities arbitration
If you are facing the prospect of FINRA securities arbitration, it is vital to be fully prepared and well represented. The Frankowski Firm has experience serving clients in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and throughout California in both traditional and simplified arbitration. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation with our California FINRA arbitration attorneys, please call 888.741.7503 or fill out our contact form.