Experienced Counsel Makes the Difference in Securities Arbitration
Skilled advocacy in FINRA arbitration
Today, most securities fraud and negligence cases are not tried in federal or state court. Instead, they are tried before a panel of arbitrators. The arbitration process is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Mandatory arbitration in front of FINRA trained arbitrators is the result of arbitration provisions placed in almost all brokerage firm customer contracts. Most customers don’t ever review these clauses before they sign the contract. However, once the contract is signed, the customer is forced to pursue any claims they have in arbitration, not in court.
At The Frankowski Firm, we provide highly skilled representation on behalf of clients seeking redress through the FINRA arbitration process. We have helped clients obtain excellent awards in both simplified and full panel arbitrations. We work with some of the best financial experts in the country to help quantify damages to arbitrators are able to fully grasp the seriousness of the claims we file.
What is the purpose of securities arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative method of resolving civil claims. FINRA arbitration is similar to court in that lawyers will make opening statements, will obtain testimonial evidence by direct and cross examination of fact and expert witnesses, and will make closing arguments. However, rather than a judge deciding the case, a panel of three arbitrators (in most situations) will make a final and binding ruling. Ultimately, arbitration is simply another method of resolving disputes.
What should I know about securities arbitration?
Because most of our clients have never heard of FINRA arbitration, we hear many of the same questions repeated by our clients. Some of these include:
- What is FINRA, and what does it do? FINRA is an organization that regulates investment firms and professionals who sell securities in the United States. It is the largest independent securities regulator in the United States. FINRA’s main goal is to make sure that investors are protected against fraudulent brokers and brokers/firms who fail to act competently and professionally.
- What is the FINRA arbitration process? The FINRA arbitration process consists of:
- The investor’s complaint and the answer of the broker or brokerage firm.
- The selection of arbitrators.
- The discovery process.
- The evidentiary hearing.
- The final decision.
- What is simplified arbitration? In cases where the amount in dispute is $50,000 or less, an investor can pursue simplified arbitration. Simplified arbitrations are decided solely on the papers… the Statement of Claim, Statement of Answer and Evidentiary Submissions with any attachments such as exhibits and affidavits.
- What damages are allowed in securities arbitration? In cases where fraud or negligence be established, the focus of the damages is on the amount of money the investor lost. Damages can also include disgorgement of profits and, opportunity costs, and punitive damages. Legal fees and hearing costs are additional damages that are sometimes awarded by panels.
When firms do not include arbitration provisions in their contracts, clients are able to pursue their claims in court. In either arbitration or court cases, investors should seriously consider hiring an experienced securities fraud attorney to represent their interests.
Do I have to participate in securities arbitration?
Investors who have signed a contract that has a standard arbitration clause are bound to comply with the FINRA arbitration process. Our securities arbitration attorneys can explain when cases must be brought before FINRA and when other options, such as state or federal court claims, are permissible.
Speak with an experienced stockbroker lawyer today
If you have suffered any financial loss in any investment, do not assume it is just bad luck or the nature of the financial markets. In many cases, you can hold the broker or investment firm accountable for failing to provide suitable recommendations, for defrauding you, or for mismanaging your portfolio of investments. The Frankowski Firm’s securities arbitration lawyers have helped many claimants in securities arbitration cases throughout the United States. Make an appointment by phoning us now at 888-741-7503 or by completing our contact form.