Many people dont realize until after there is a problem that in this country when one has a problem with their broker due to an investment, they must file an arbitration claim at FINRA. Pursuing such a claim requires knowledge of the FINRA forum, the unique arbitration rules of that forum and knowledge of the tricks of the trade to ensure that one is heard before a fair panel. No more accurate words were ever spoken than when the NY Times stated “For people who decide to pursue arbitration, legal experts suggest finding a lawyer with significant experience in Finra arbitration” in its recent article on FINRA Arbitration.
Those that either pursue a claim on their own, or retain a lawyer who is not a specialist in this area are foolish. FINRA rules are not taught in law school and are addressed in few Continuing Education Classes for lawyers. In my practice, we take the time to conduct extensive and continuous screening of arbitrators on our client’s cases. This does not stop with the selection process. We continue to monitor arbitrators actions, decisions, statements, disclosures, etc, for any sign of possible bias or pre-judgement and if we notice such issues we have the background, experience and knowledge of the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure to take whatever steps needed so as to remove such arbitrators from the panel. As was once written up in another NY Times Story we went so far as to successfully challenge four candidates for the same arbitrator slot on a Panel after conducting an in depth investigation into each arbitrator.
Why do we spend so much time focusing on the Panel and other areas of the process unlike other attorneys? because at the end of the day it is the panelists who will be making the decision in your case and thus who sits on the panel is one of the most critical elements of any FINRA Arbitration, whether based on suitability, churning, negligent advice, or any other claim. It is because of this focus that in over 13 years that my firm has existed, we have never lost any in-person investor arbitration to date. At the same time FINRA’s overall statistics have investors losing almost 60% each and every year. It is clear that, anyone who either pursues a claim against their stockbroker or investment adviser on their own or through an attorney who is not experienced in this area of the law is throwing good money after bad.
Unlike typical litigation, we are not restricted by states in representing people in arbitration. Therefore, we have successfully represented clients in New York, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, North Carolina, Washington DC, California, Nebraska, Illinois, Maryland, and even the United Kingdom and elsewhere. If you think you, a friend, a relative or family member were misled or taken advantage, provided poor advice or misled of by a financial adviser / investment adviser / stockbroker on any investment vehicle – bond, stock, REIT, ETF, Mutual Fund or any other investment, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
Stuart D. Meissner Esq.