If you have lost money because you trusted an irresponsible or fraudulent broker or financial advisor, you understand what an overwhelming feeling it is. There is a lot of shame, embarrassment, and confusion involved. And you may conclude that the money is lost for good.Those feeling are perfectly understandable. But this is not the time to resign yourself to financial losses. Through arbitration or mediation, it is often possible to recoup some or all of your money. Instead of shutting down, fight back by using the arbitration process.
- What is Arbitration and How Does Arbitration Work?
- Is Arbitration the Solution for Me?
- What is FINRA?
- Why do I need an Attorney with extensive experience in FINRA Arbitration?
- Can Arbitration Recover All of My Losses? What are the Possible Outcomes?
- How Do I pursue Mediation or Arbitration?
What is Arbitration and How Does Arbitration Work?
Many people across the spectrum are the victims of stockbroker and financial advisor misconduct. Holding the brokerage firm or advisor responsible is frequently possible through Alternative Dispute Resolution rather than through the courts, because most brokers and advisors require arbitration in the customer agreement you initially sign with them or their firm. As a customer of a brokerage firm, you have the right to demand arbitration of any customer dispute. Arbitration hearings are held in every state in the U.S.
Our process usually starts with a detailed account analysis designed to determine the full extent of your losses and opportunity cost. Armed with that information, we can demonstrate that the brokerage firm or advisor was primarily responsible for your financial losses.
Overall, the arbitration process is not as formal as a court trial, but the outcomes are legally binding. The rules for introducing evidence are much more open-ended, and the decision of the arbitrator does not have to be strictly based on the law.
Is Arbitration the Solution for Me?
It’s important to differentiate financial losses due to stockbroker or advisor misconduct from simple losses on the market. If you feel that you have been the victim of misconduct, arbitration could be the best way to seek justice. The first step is to partner with an investment recovery attorney who can scour the numbers, dive into the details, and put the law to work for you.
If you have lost money in an investment, it can be very confusing trying to figure out who to turn to and what to do. The smartest strategy you can take is to rely on experienced legal counsel who understands the laws relating to investments and securities and the means for victims to seek justice. That counsel should also be able to act as your FINRA arbitration attorney.
What is FINRA?
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is an agency tasked with protecting investors and the integrity of markets as a whole. The agency is not part of the government but is rather a non-profit given responsibility for ensuring that brokerage firms and dually registered advisors abide by fair practices. Investors who feel they have lost money due to a financial advisor’s mistake, can turn to an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney to hold the offending parties responsible.
Why do I need an Attorney with extensive experience in FINRA Arbitration?
Since the FINRA is a non-governmental organization, it relies on an arbitration process rather than the courts. Securities arbitration is similar to going through the courts, but with a few notable differences. First and foremost, the rules for the presentation of evidence are less strict. That means evidence of misconduct that may not have been admissible in court can be presented to an arbitration panel.
Another major difference is that the decision of the arbitration panel may not be strictly based on the letter of the law, but may be based upon what the arbitration panel believes is fair. Last, grounds to appeal an award are extremely limited, unlike a court verdict
Counsel with experience and expertise can build the strongest case possible and use the unique features of the securities arbitration process to your benefit.
Victims will need to prove that the broker or advisor they worked with committed a breach of financial regulation.
Can FINRA Arbitration Recover All My Losses? What Outcomes are Possible?
You may recover losses that the arbitration panel believes were a direct result of the broker or advisor misconduct.
You may be awarded “out-of- pocket” damages combined with interest. Or you can be awarded “market-adjusted damages” that include both the money you invested and the money you would have earned if your broker or advisor made responsible decisions.
An Arbitration Panel may award damages based upon a law or statute, or they may award a restitution amount that they believe is fair.
How do I Pursue Stockbroker/Advisor Arbitration?
A good lawyer is the best resource you can have as your lawyer can guide you through the maze of investment recovery. Experienced Arbitration counsel will determine where, how, and to what extend stockbroker or advisor misconduct took place. With proper counsel, most strong cases settle well before evidentiary hearings.
If an evidentiary hearing is required, a hearing is held before a neutral arbitration panel. Make sure you have counsel who knows how to give you the advantage.