The short answer is…Yes! The amount you may recover depends upon the investor, the activity and/or the product or investment. Our law firm has represented many defrauded investors in lawsuits and FINRA arbitration actions against brokerage firms and registered investment advisors. Unfortunately, the 2008-2009 market crash exposed fraudulent sales practices at dozens of brokerage firms. Billions of dollars of investments were fraudulently peddled to the elderly, retired, near retired or investors who were not willing to gamble or speculate. Unfortunately, these investors took the brunt of the economic hit after the largest economic crime spree in U.S. history perpetrated by Wall Street banks and brokerage firms.
Types Of Investment Fraud
There are 4 major questions we ask when attempting to help an investor determine if they can successfully sue their stockbroker, brokerage firm or registered investment advisor:
1. What type of investment was recommended? Some investments were fraudulently marketed by the brokerage firm selling them and therefore most of the clients who purchased the product would have an actionable securities fraud arbitration action.
2. Who is the investor? In conversion claims, selling away cases, theft or ponzi schemes or even product cases like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or leveraged exchange traded fund cases, the profile of the investor is not very important. We’ve successfully represented in FINRA arbitration causes and lawsuits individuals who have a high degree of sophistication or financial resources. Regardless of a client’s sophistication, they are entitled to full, fair and complete disclosure and not to be defrauded through investments.
3. What type of claim does the investor have against the firm? There are several common causes of action we make in lawsuits against brokerage firms including: Breach of Contract, Negligence, Failure to Supervise, Failure To Execute, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Misrepresentations and Omissions, Churning or Excessive Trading, and Selling Away and Ponzi Schemes. Please contact us for more details on each.
4. Should the client sue in court, in arbitration or partake in a class action lawsuit. In instances where the client has lost more than $50,000, an individual arbitration claim or lawsuit usually makes the most sense.
One of the most common questions we get from people who believe they may have a valid securities fraud clam is whether they have to file an arbitration claim at FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services), AAA (American Arbitration Association) or a lawsuit in court.
Most brokerage firms and registered investment advisors have a binding arbitration clause in the new account agreement they require the client to sign prior to opening a brokerage account. The brokerage firms and registered investment advisors listed below all require clients to have any dispute heard through binding arbitration. While binding arbitration has been criticized by some, usually arbitration is faster and cheaper than court house litigation. For example, it is not uncommon for class action lawsuits to be tied up in court for 60 months or longer. Arbitration claims usually take twelve to fourteen months.
Free Evaluation Of Your Claim
Injured investors should contact a lawyer to discuss whether they might have a valid arbitration claim against a brokerage firm. While most brokers and advisors do not violate the law, unfortunately a sizable minority do.
To learn more about suing to recover investment losses, please contact Fitzpatrick & Fitzpatrick Attorneys at Law, in Chicago, Illinois at (312) 553-2200.