You worked hard for the nest egg you have accumulated. Understandably, you want to be extremely careful about who you trust to help you invest those assets. Of course, once you choose a securities broker or securities firm, it is that much more devastating when that firm, or the individual broker, betrays that important trust.
If you are the victim of investment fraud at the hand of an unscrupulous broker, you have options. Yet, it would be wise to get the assistance of an attorney who can help you obtain compensation for the fraud or negligence of your broker or brokerage firm.
Typically, in the investment-fraud world, attorneys who help fraud victims are referred to as FINRA attorneys. The reason for that is because most disputes between customers and clients of investment firms are handled via arbitration through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA.
The process of working with a FINRA attorney is as follows.
In this article, we will talk about the role of FINRA and what a FINRA attorney can do to help you recover your investment losses. If, after reading this blog, you would like to learn a little more about getting a FINRA attorney to help you with your situation, we welcome you to call Attorney Melanie Cherdack.
Former wall street lawyer Melanie Cherdack understands the plight of those who were victims of investment fraud. She has “seen it all” when it comes to the schemes that investment brokers use to defraud their clients. Contact us today on our online contact form, or by calling 888-768-2499. We are the investment fraud lawyers who will level the playing field for you.
What is FINRA?
As noted, FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA does precisely what its title suggests – it regulates the financial industry. Specifically, it oversees the 3,726 brokerage firms and the over 600,000 brokers in the country.
FINRA is not a government entity. It is a private, not-for-profit organization. Yet, it acts similar to a government agency in its oversight role of financial broker-dealers in the United States.
All member broker-dealers in the United States are subject to FINRA’s rules and regulations. FINRA is important to investors as it is a specific regulatory body dedicated to overseeing the complex securities industry. Rather than having a court of law adjudicate a complex securities matter, the FINRA forum appoints arbitrators who have the necessary securities or business expertise to more easily grasp the legal issues surrounding allegations of investment fraud.
That all means that if a particular broker or broker-dealer engages in conduct that violates FINRA’s rules and that violation causes investment losses, then you as the investor have a right to file a complaint with FINRA in an effort to get compensation for your losses.
What Can a FINRA Attorney Do to Help You?
A FINRA attorney can help you seek an award in your favor for any investment losses that you suffered. The FINRA attorney would, therefore, represent your interests in a FINRA arbitration. The process of working with FINRA attorney is as follows:
- Begin with a Case Review
The first thing that will happen when you meet with an experienced FINRA attorney is that the attorney will review your case. Remember, you cannot recover investment losses simply because those losses were the result of disclosed market risk or simple bad luck. So, your FINRA attorney will look over your case to find instances in which your broker’s misconduct or negligence was the reason for your investment losses.
In order to determine if there was misconduct and conclude that you have a viable case, the FINRA attorney will want to review certain relevant documents and information such as: (i) your account statements; (ii) new account forms; (iii) any written communications with your broker; (iv) all documents provided to you.
- Then, Discuss Alternatives
If your FINRA attorney believes that you have a case, then he or she will discuss with you the options available and what remedies you could expect based on those options.
In most cases, an investor is bound by an agreement that he or she signed at the beginning of the relationship, in which FINRA arbitration – rather than an action in court – is required.
Your FINRA attorney, however, should also discuss with you the option to try to first settle the matter through informal negotiations, or by sending a demand letter if appropriate.
- Taking Action – Starting an Arbitration
If the broker-dealer is unwilling to engage in negotiations to provide you with compensation, then your FINRA attorney will likely take you to the next step – filing a claim to initiate a FINRA arbitration proceeding. In a FINRA arbitration, the complaint takes the form of a “Statement of Claim” before FINRA.
In the “Statement of Claim,” your FINRA attorney will present a compelling narrative of how you were a victim of investment fraud or negligence, setting forth the facts to support your claims. It is a wise choice to have a FINRA attorney help you draft the Statement of Claim because this is the only opportunity you will get to tell your story to the arbitrators before the final arbitration hearing.
- Getting Ready for the Arbitration
Finally, your FINRA attorney will help you with all the steps towards arbitration. Unlike a court case, there are no depositions or pre-hearing testimony of witnesses. In a FINRA arbitration, all of the discovery is done only through an exchange of documents and information. The final arbitration hearing is a small, less formal trial. There are opening statements, facts, and expert witnesses followed by closing arguments. You will want a seasoned FINRA attorney to help with all of that preparation.
The arbitrators have 30 days to submit their final award ruling on all of the claims and defenses. Typically, FINRA arbitration awards are final. That is why it is so important to have a FINRA attorney to help you through the process.
Protect Yourself – Get a FINRA Attorney in Florida to Help
If you or a loved one has been the victim of investment fraud, then you need an experienced, aggressive securities fraud attorney to zealously pursue your case against the perpetrators. We invite you to contact FINRA attorney Melanie Cherdack.
Because she has been in the trenches as a former Wall Street attorney, investor fraud lawyer Melanie Cherdack and her team of experienced attorneys have seen just about every type of investment fraud or investment scam that is out there. While almost every investment carries a degree of uncertainty and risk, you may have been unnecessarily exposed to such risk due to the actions of others.
If you have lost money due to investment fraud or simple broker negligence, it is crucial to hire a lawyer who fully understands this area of law. Former Wall Street securities attorney Melanie S. Cherdack represents 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.