How to Choose the Right Securities Attorney for Your Case

July 28, 2023

 

The legal process for investors who have suffered investment losses due to fraud by a financial firm or individual finance professional involves a lawsuit or arbitration. An experienced securities attorney can help you navigate these unfamiliar and complex proceedings.

You can start your search by checking out your state bar association.

Qualifications

Whether your case involves allegations of investment fraud or broker misconduct, you need an attorney familiar with the regulations governing financial professionals. In most cases, the financial professional in question must comply with Federal and state securities laws and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules, which include the requirement to make only suitable investment recommendations and act in your best interests at all times.

Many investors experience significant losses due to brokers’ unauthorized trading, excessive trading, or failure to diversify their investments. Other forms of broker misconduct include misrepresentations or omissions of material facts. An experienced securities attorney can determine which legal avenues to seek financial compensation for your losses.

Some attorneys specializing in securities law work for the government, enforcing or investigating firms or individuals violating federal and state securities laws.

The primary qualification you should look for when choosing a securities lawyer is a verifiable track record of successfully handling securities legal disputes. It would be best to seek an attorney licensed to practice in your state and in good standing with the bar association. This will help ensure that the attorney practices ethically and according to industry standards.

Experience

The securities attorney you choose must have a firm understanding of the laws and regulations that govern investments sold to investors. They also need to have experience representing investors in FINRA arbitration cases. FINRA is the financial industry’s self-governing arbitration organization that investigates investor claims alleging misconduct and fraud and resolves them through binding arbitration. Many investment contracts between brokers and their clients include arbitration clauses, requiring an investor to submit a claim to FINRA to recover financial losses.

A knowledgeable securities lawyer can help you navigate this unfamiliar process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Ask the attorney about their experience with similar cases during your consultation. You should also find out which individual will be handling your case so you can do a more thorough background check.

Whether you’ve lost money on an unsuitable investment or believe your advisor misappropriated funds, the right securities lawyer can help. Some forms of broker misconduct are easy to recognize, such as unauthorized trading or excessive buying and selling to increase commissions (also known as churning). Other types of broker misconduct can be more challenging to identify and prove. A reputable securities attorney can evaluate your case to determine whether you have grounds for an investment fraud lawsuit. For example, a financial professional may breach their fiduciary duty by failing to diversify their portfolio or recommend high-risk investments, which can significantly increase your risk of suffering investment losses.

Fees

Many investors need help determining which securities attorney suits their particular case best. They should always start by searching for bar-associated attorneys, as this ensures that they practice law above board and according to industry standards. Then, they should start looking for referrals and testimonials from previous clients. Once they have narrowed their search, they should finally sit down with a few to discuss their case details.

Generally, securities lawyers can assist investors with investment losses caused by fraudulent acts committed by brokers and financial advisors. These cases usually involve federal and state securities laws and financial industry rule violations. They can also help investors file SEC complaints and arbitration claims with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Securities attorneys typically get paid for any award or settlement that may occur due to their representation. However, some attorneys choose to work on a contingency basis. This means they will only get paid if their client receives compensation from the court or a settlement with the defendant.

Lawyers should always disclose their fees upfront to their clients. In addition, they should never accept stock or stock options instead of cash fees. This practice violates the ethical rules of the New York City Bar Association and is not permitted under the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Reputation

When a person is looking for an attorney to represent them in a securities fraud case, they will need an attorney with an exemplary reputation. The best way to determine which attorneys are reputable is to do some research on the internet and by contacting your local bar association. The American Bar Association and the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association have directories allowing you to search for experienced attorneys representing investors in securities disputes.

Choosing a securities lawyer with experience litigating cases involving brokerage disputes is also essential. This is because most brokerage disputes are resolved through arbitration proceedings administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Having an attorney who has handled these types of disputes will help navigate the complex legal and regulatory issues often involved in these cases.

FINRA arbitrations are typically held at a person’s home or office, which can be stressful for an individual whose investment professional has wronged. It is also essential for a securities lawyer to explain to an arbitrator why they believe their client was harmed by the actions of their investment professional and how those violations are related to FINRA’s rules.

If a financial advisor or broker has wronged you and seeks monetary compensation for your losses, contact us today to discuss your options. Our firm has represented hundreds of clients in FINRA arbitrations and will work tirelessly to ensure your case is heard fairly.

 

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