Securities Litigation & Arbitration
Securities arbitration is used to resolve the majority of customer securities fraud claims brought against the securities industry.
As a customer of a brokerage firm, you are required to sign an agreement mandating arbitration to govern all disputes. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has empowered the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an organization tasked with investor protection, to be the forum to hear all customer disputes involving their brokerage accounts. Examples of the most frequently encountered types of misconduct include, trading accounts without clients’ authorizations (unauthorized trading), making investment recommendations inconsistent with clients’ investment objectives (unsuitability), and unauthorized and/or excessive use of margin.
Serving the South Florida area and Nationwide. The Scott Hirsch Law Group has represented hundreds of investors nationwide and recovered millions of dollars from Wall Street brokerage firms on their behalf.
Investment Fraud Litigation
We Help you fight against Broker Misconduct.
You have spent years working to save money for your future. Whether your savings is planned for retirement, to support your family or to leave a legacy, it should be protected. The proper selection of a financial advisor or broker to help you manage your investments is crucial to your future.
The relationship with your financial advisor or broker is built on trust. As the client, you trust that your broker will provide accurate information, follow industry standards and act ethically. Unfortunately, not all financial advisors and brokers act in your best interest and put you at risk of losing your investments and savings. When your trusted advisor causes significant loss by providing misleading or poor investment information, you need the right team on your side. The Scott Hirsch Law Group helps clients fight against these brokers to recover losses due to broker misconduct.
The Scott Hirsch Law Group has helped clients recover more than $100 million from investor fraud through skilled litigation. We are committed to holding brokers accountable for their misconduct and fight for our clients.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) protects investors from corrupt or fraudulent practices made by their brokerage firms or financial advisors. Arbitration is used as an alternative court litigation to resolve securities and business disputes. The process is informal process and offers a more cost-effective approach. The arbitrators, who are chosen by both parties, review the pleadings filed by each party, hear testimony from witnesses, review evidence and render a decision on the dispute. Arbitration is confidential, and the documents involved are not made public. However, if an award is issued, it is posted in the FINRA Awards online database.
Cases are typically eligible for FINRA Arbitration if they meet the following criteria:
- Investor disputes, where the case involves an investor and a broker or firm registered with FINRA
- Disputes between industry parties, where the case concerns brokers or firms registered with FINRA
The Scott Hirsch Law Group has extensive experience litigating Securities Arbitration cases on behalf of investors who were harmed by the misconduct of their brokerage firm or financial advisor.
As an alternative to court, FINRA arbitration cases require an attorney who is skilled in navigating the procedural nuances surroundingtime limitations, discovery, and motion practice. Hiring an attorney knowledgeable in handling securities arbitration cases will ensure all the legal claims that can be argued to attempt to recover your losses are raised.
Typically, claims involve allegations of fraud, breach of contract, and negligence. However, often times there are additional claims such as unauthorized trading, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitability and churning that an experienced securities arbitration attorney, such as the Scott Hirsch Law Group can recognize for an investor.
Moreover, a skilled securities arbitration attorney, sch as the Scott Hirsch Law Group, is well versed in the countering the defenses raised by the brokerage firm and their counsel.
Scott Hirsch Law Group has the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for its clients in FINRA arbitration. We are attuned to the many hallmarks of financial abuse and other misconduct. We work with our clients hand and glove and fight for their rights.
Mr. Hirsch has recovered over $100 million dollars for his clients through Securities Arbitration. The Scott Hirsch Law Group is here to answer any questions you may have concerning securities arbitration and stands ready to fight for you.
The arbitration process is meant to be a more expeditious and informal process than the typical court proceeding. A panel of one to three arbitrators, appointed to the proceeding much like a jury is selected, conduct the arbitration proceeding evaluating evidence and testimony from both. After all the evidence is presented, the arbitrators will arrive at a decision which is binding for both parties. Unlike court proceedings which involve an extensive pre-trial process consisting of formal discovery and depositions along with the possibility of appeal after judgment, the arbitration process does not utilize all of these formal procedures, nor does it go to the extent of a formal trial or allow for appeal except under extremely limited grounds.
Securities – A Regulated Industry
You can file complaints with the SEC. Your reports may even result in investigations, disciplinary actions or criminal charges taken against a stock broker or brokerage firm. However, the focus of the SEC is to correct and regulate the industry, not to recover money for you if your account has been mishandled resulting in lost savings or retirement funds. Your recovery of funds will be determined through arbitration.For this reason, hiring a lawyer to represent you in securities arbitration proceedings is a wise decision. Arbitration proceedings follow rules established by the SEC and most likely will be arbitrated in a forum under FINRA.
How do I know if I am a victim of misconduct in my brokerage account?
There are many types of misconduct that can occur in customers’ brokerage accounts, and not all are easy to identify. Examples of the most common types of misconduct include unsuitable investment recommendations; unauthorized trading; failures to follow investors’ instructions; misrepresentations and/or omissions regarding investments; excessive trading; charging of excessive commissions; improper and/or excessive use of margin; outright fraud (including falsification of account-related documentation, unauthorized transfers, disappearing funds); and a host of other improper conduct.
Unsuitable investing is a very broad term, with respect to misconduct that can occur in brokerage account requiring a brief explanation. Unsuitable investment recommendations are most often perpetrated upon innocent, unsophisticated investors. A financial advisor may recommend only investments that are suitable for a particular investor based upon that investor’s investment objectives (income or growth); risk tolerance (conservative, moderate, aggressive or speculative); age, prior investment experience; financial wherewithal. Brokerage firms often disregard these factors, placing their own financial interests ahead of their customers. Specifically, brokerage firms often benefit much more by making risky, as opposed to conservative, investments in their customer’s accounts. Risk is not the only thing that determines the suitability of an investment. An investment is also unsuitable when a stockbroker purchases an unreasonably large (over-concentrated) position in a particular security (stock, bond, annuity, auction rate security, options, ETF, mutual fund, bond fund, etc.).
These are just some things to look out for, and any questions regarding how your investment account(s) have been handled should be directed to an attorney. Our experienced legal team has been instrumental in recovering millions of dollars of stock market losses and other damages for investors. We thoroughly investigate all potential claims for recovery of losses. We are fully competent to handle even the most complex investment loss cases.