Investors may suffer significant losses at the hands of their financial advisors’ misconduct, such as if they misrepresented or failed to disclose the risks associated with a particular investment, recommended frequent trades for the sole purpose of generating commissions, or used high-pressure tactics to make a sale. The rules and regulations of securities laws and FINRA policies are complex, and investment loss claims require an extensive understanding of securities arbitration to achieve the best possible results.
The FINRA attorneys at Oakes & Fosher, LLC, are dedicated to representing defrauded investors in arbitration proceedings before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Through FINRA arbitration, our lawyers help investors recover lost money, securities, and other damages resulting from their brokers’ misconduct. With our firm’s vast resources and years of experience, we have successfully taken on large financial institutions.
If you have suffered investment losses that may have been caused by your financial advisor’s negligence or fraud, contact our FINRA lawyers today for a free, confidential evaluation.
What is FINRA?
FINRA is a non-governmental organization authorized by Congress to regulate brokerage firms and the securities industry. Most if not all brokerage firms mandate within their opening agreements that investors are generally prohibited from suing their financial advisers in a court of law and must file their disputes in an arbitration claim with FINRA.
FINRA Arbitration has its own unique procedures including a Code of Arbitration Procedure for investment disputes. FINRA arbitration decisions are final and can only be appealed in limited circumstances, so it is important that your FINRA lawyer understands the complexities of the securities industry, as well as the intricacies of the procedural rules that govern FINRA arbitrations.
Our lawyers specialize in securities arbitration and are familiar with the forum, the arbitrators, the procedural rules, and how to properly prosecute a case on behalf of investors. There are many instances that may cause an arbitration claim to arise and our FINRA arbitration attorneys can carefully evaluate your case to determine if a claim should be filed.
How Our FINRA Lawyers Handle the Arbitration Process
Arbitration is similar to courtroom legal proceedings but is less formal, less costly than filing a lawsuit in a court of law, and usually results in a speedier decision.
The FINRA arbitration process is as follows:
- Statement of Claim – The FINRA arbitration process begins with your attorney drafting a “statement of claim” describing how your broker’s fraud, negligence, or misconduct caused you to lose money. The investment firm has 45 days to respond to the allegations contained in the statement of claim and file an answer.
- Arbitrator Selection – After your attorney has filed the statement of claim with FINRA, an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators are selected to preside over the proceeding. There will be one arbitrator for claims involving alleged damages of $50,000 to $100,000 and a panel of three arbitrators for disputes involving alleged damages of more than $100,000. The parties must agree on the selection of the arbitrators; if either side objects to a proposed arbitrator, they are ineligible to participate. For claims involving alleged damages of less than $50,000, FINRA adjudicates the claims based solely on the legal briefs filed by the attorneys working on the case and does not hold a hearing.
- Conduct Discovery – Your attorney may request documents from the brokerage firm relating to the allegations contained in the Statement of Claim. You may be required to produce documents as well, such as brokerage statements and any correspondence you received from your financial advisor. The brokerage firm may be required to hand over any other complaints that have been filed against the broker.
- The Hearing – During the hearing, your attorney may make an opening statement, question witnesses, present evidence, cross-examine any witnesses called by the investment firm, and make a closing argument. All witnesses are required to testify under oath.
- The Decision – In general, FINRA will issue a decision within 30 days of the end of the hearing. The decision of the arbitrator(s) is binding on the parties. Appeals of arbitration decisions are only granted in limited circumstances, such as when the decision reflects a clear error of law or fact.
In general, FINRA arbitration takes about 12 to 18 months to resolve after the Statement of Claim has been filed.
The FINRA arbitration lawyers at Oakes & Fosher have extensive knowledge of securities arbitration laws and the arbitration process. We can help develop a strong strategy to recover your investment, professionally and confidentially. Our top priority is making sure that our clients receive the highest-quality FINRA arbitration legal services possible and that they recover any compensation to which they are entitled.
Contact Our St. Louis FINRA Attorneys
No one should have to suffer investment loss due to a financial advisor’s misconduct or negligence, but unfortunately, there are victims every day. If this has happened to you, you need a knowledgeable FINRA attorney to help identify how your advisor or firm acted inappropriately and help you achieve the best possible results through arbitration.
Please contact Oakes & Fosher today for a complimentary consultation. Our FINRA lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not be charged for our services unless we successfully collect money for you.