While most people go through life not ever thinking that they may need to hire a lawyer, there will likely be events in your life where you will need to hire one. For example, if there is a death in your family, you may need to hire an estate attorney. If you are going through a divorce, you might need to hire a family lawyer. If you have suffered investment losses, you will need to hire an Investment Fraud Lawyer.

When hiring an Investment Fraud Attorney, make sure you ask the following five questions to ensure that you have found the right lawyer to help you recover your investment losses.

1. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

While many attorneys represent that they can handle investment fraud cases, only a handful of attorneys actually have 20 or more years of experience handling FINRA arbitrations—which is where most cases are required to be brought if you are suing a brokerage firm. Make sure that you ask the prospective lawyer how many investment fraud cases he or she has handled and how many years of experience that attorney has worked in this specialized area of FINRA arbitration. Because an experienced investment fraud lawyer will likely know most of the lawyers representing the defendant brokerage firms, these relationships can go a long way in advancing your case to hearing or to settlement discussions. Additionally, experienced lawyers in this area will also be familiar with the roster of potential FINRA arbitrators who may hear your case. Knowing which arbitrators to select to hear your potential case can make a huge outcome in the results of your case.

2. WHO WILL HANDLE MY POTENTIAL CASE?

Ask how your potential case will be staffed, who will be working on your case, and who will communicate with you regarding your case. You will want to know that the attorney you will be hiring will also be the main attorney who is handling your case. Ask how the case will be staffed internally and how you will be updated on the status of your case. Additionally, ask whether the lead attorney will be writing and reviewing the key pleadings and motions as they are filed in your Investment Fraud Case, and who will be the lead trial attorney on your case. Finally, find out if there is a paralegal who will be assigned to help you assemble the documents you will need to provide to the attorneys to assist in proving your case. While you may want to hire a big firm to handle your case, make sure that you know who at the firm will be the responsible attorney on a day to day basis.

3. HOW MANY CASES HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TRIAL?

Ask the lawyers how many cases that attorney has brought to a final arbitration hearing or trial as well as the results of those hearings or trials. While many attorneys handle FINRA Arbitration cases, not all of these attorneys will actually take these cases all the way through a final hearing. While it is true that a large percentage of FINRA arbitrations settle prior to the final hearing—you need to be sure that the firm you hire is experienced enough to try your case. If the brokerage firm attorneys know that your lawyer settles most or all of their cases, and never or rarely tries cases, you are not in the best position to get a good settlement offer. The best way to maximize your chances of getting the best settlement offer is when the brokerage firm knows that your attorney is ready, willing, and able to take your FINRA arbitration all the way through to a final arbitration hearing.

4. WHAT ARE YOUR FEES & WHAT WILL I BE PAYING?

Many investors who have suffered investment fraud losses will want an attorney who will take their case on a contingency basis. In this fee arrangement, the lawyer will take a percentage of the recovery that the client receives at the end of the case. These fees typically range between 25-33% depending on the complexity of the case, in what stage the case resolves (pre-hearing or after a hearing or trial), and the size of the investment losses. Costs of the case are additional charges that may be the responsibility of the client, so make sure you find out what additional costs may be before retaining an attorney. Generally, the largest costs are things such as the FINRA filing fees, fees for the arbitrators to hear your case, and expert witness fees.

5. HOW DOES THE LAWYER RELATE TO YOU?

Suffering investment losses, being duped by your stockbroker, or just having your account mishandled can be a devastating event in your life. When looking for an Investment Fraud Attorney, make sure that the person you hire listens to you and understands you and your concerns and fears. Many people feel betrayed when they have been the victim of investment fraud or investment negligence and are worried that they cannot trust any professional after this experience. Be sure that the attorney that you hire is someone you can trust and who is willing to listen to you and help you. Finding a lawyer that can relate to you or your loved one who has lost money might be the most important decision of all. Once you have hired that attorney, you will have to work closely with them to resolve your case. Trusting that attorney to represent your interests and understand your concerns cannot be underestimated.

When you or your loved one has suffered investment losses, this can be a very traumatic event. Often, this will be an extremely emotional time in your life as your savings represent the security for your future. At Investorfraudlaw.com, we handle your case like you are a part of our family. You will be represented by a lead attorney who has decades of experience in handling Investment Fraud cases, as well as a team of experienced attorneys and paralegals who will communicate with you and guide you through every step of the way.   

Former Wall Street securities attorney Melanie S. Cherdack and her team of lawyers represent individual and institutional investors who are unwitting victims of investment fraud and broker negligence. She heads up a group of attorneys who represent investors across the United States. Contact us by filling out our online contact form, or calling 888-768-2499 or 305-349-2336.