How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
If your advisor committed fraud or breached his or her duties, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages you suffered. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Our attorneys may be able to help you. It costs nothing to get started, and we get paid only if your case is successful.
Am I Allowed to Sue a Brokerage Firm in Court or Do I Have to Go to Arbitration?
Brokerage firms require their customers to sign agreements requiring them to arbitrate any disputes before FINRA. Arbitration typically is less expensive and more efficient than the court process. Arbitration hearings typically will be scheduled within a year or so of the date your claim is filed with FINRA. But discovery is limited and there are no depositions permitted in FINRA arbitrations.
If your assets are managed by an investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (as opposed to a brokerage firm that belongs to FINRA), you may be able to bring your claim in court. Although court generally is more expensive and takes longer than arbitrations, there are certain advantages to bringing your claim in court. One advantage is that we have the opportunity to take depositions of key witnesses in court.
What Is FINRA?
FINRA is a government-authorized, not-for-profit organization that oversees U.S. broker-dealers. The organization was authorized by Congress to regulate brokerage firms and the securities industry, and it oversees more than 624,000 brokers across the country. FINRA oversees the resolution of securities-related problems and disputes through two non-judicial proceedings: arbitration and mediation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
FINRA requires a claim to be filed within 6 years from occurrence or event giving rise to the claim. This is known as the six-year eligibility rule, and is contained in Rule 12206 of the FINRA Code of Arbitration. You can view the Rule here.
How Long Does FINRA Arbitration Take?
In general, FINRA arbitration takes about 12 to 18 months to resolve after the Statement of Claim has been filed. FINRA will issue a decision within 30 days of the end of the final arbitration hearing. The decision of the arbitrator(s) is binding on the parties. Appeals of arbitration decisions are only granted in very limited circumstances.
How Can a Securities Attorney Help Me?
Hiring an experienced securities attorney may give you your best chance at being fairly compensated. Our attorneys believe you deserve nothing less than full justice, and that’s why we fight for full and fair compensation for every client. Your securities attorney may take the following steps in investigating and litigating your case:
- Review and analyze your financial statements to help determine if securities fraud occurred.
- Work with financial experts who will calculate the extent of your damages and offer testimony regarding the securities fraud.
- File a Statement of Claim with FINRA describing how your broker or financial advisor acted improperly or violated his or her fiduciary duty; the Statement of Claim may also detail the amount of financial damages you suffered as a result of the misconduct.
- Manage the discovery process and gain access to the documents that are relevant to your claims.
- Submit documentary evidence to FINRA in support of the allegations of securities misconduct.
- Represent you in all aspects of the final FINRA hearing.
Can I Afford a Lawyer?
Yes, you can afford high quality legal representation. The attorneys in Morgan & Morgan’s Business Trial Group operate on a contingency-fee basis. This means we only get paid if we win for you. There are no upfront costs or expensive hourly fees to hire us. Contact us today for a risk-free, no-cost case evaluation.