You’ve gone over your account statements and start to suspect that your broker hasn’t invested your assets appropriately. What should you do? The first step is to compile all of your documents and correspondence with your broker. You should collect your monthly account statements, opening account documents, and any written communication with your brokerage firm for starters. This will make it easier to assess your case.
Next, you should consult with an attorney. While not required, when you have securities claim, brokerage firms rarely settle claims with individuals without the assistance of an attorney. Most securities claims must be brought in arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the broker-dealer regulator. A securities attorney can represent you during the arbitration or mediation proceedings and provide direction and advice on how to present your claim. Even if you do not choose to hire an attorney, brokerage firms usually hire counsel to represent them. If you cannot afford an attorney, many law firms offer contingency fee arrangements.
The SEC provides the following advice on finding an attorney who specializes in resolving securities complaints. If you need help in finding a lawyer who specializes in resolving securities complaints, you may want to try the following:
- Consult with your lawyer, if you have one, about your options and whether you need a lawyer who specializes in securities arbitration or litigation.
- Call several bar associations to obtain a varied listing of lawyers in your area. Many lawyers will offer to consult with you initially for free or for a minimal fee.
- Broaden your list of potential securities lawyers by consulting directories of attorneys. The Justia Law Directory can be found at many libraries or at its www.justia.com. It lists lawyers by state and jurisdictions. Some state and local bar associations also compile directories and may list attorneys according to specialty.
We have listed below the names of two national bar associations that may provide you with referrals in your area:
This is not a complete list and you may want to check with your state, county or city bar associations.
If you want to consult an attorney that focuses its practice on securities arbitrations immediately, you can contact Gana Weinstein LLP. We are a boutique law firm that has handled hundreds of securities cases either in court or through arbitration and we specialize in the FINRA process. We are centrally located in Manhattan but our practice is national.