Securities and Investment Fraud Lawyers
We help investors who have been harmed by the misconduct of brokerage firms or financial advisors.
But there are other securities lawyers, what makes us a better choice?
We learned this game by working for the enemy. Today, we work solely on the side of abused investors. But we didn’t start out that way.
We spent many years defending national and regional brokerage firms, learning everything there was to know about the brokerage industry’s corporate culture and the methods used by broker-dealers to attack and eliminate customer claims. Most claimant-only lawyers today have no experience representing big brokerage firms, let alone the deep level of experience we bring to the table.
We do hours of work and give you real answers for free, before you hire us.
Almost every law firm will tell you its lawyers provide a “free initial consultation”, which usually means they’ll listen to your story and tell you how much they charge. We don’t do free initial consultations. We do an entire preliminary workup of your case, free of charge and without any obligation on your part to retain us.
That’s the only way you and we can know whether you have valid and provable claims — the only kind of claims we handle. If your case isn’t legally, factually, or financially justified, we’ll carefully explain why and you’ll at least have the answers you came for (plus, if you want them, the names of other lawyers who could give you a competent second opinion.)
If we think you should pursue compensation, we’ll tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case, how the arbitration or litigation process works, how much it might cost, how long it likely will take to complete, and how our fee (if any) will be determined. Then, and only then, will you need to decide whether to hire us.
What Are Your Legal Options as a Victim of Securities Fraud?
If you have lost money on investments due to fraud or negligence by your stockbroker or financial advisor, you may be able to recover financial compensation for these losses. The available legal options will depend on the nature of the fraud and the professional qualifications of the financial professional who defrauded you.
The legal process will usually involve either a securities fraud lawsuit or arbitration. We can help you determine which legal avenue applies to your case and help guide you through the process of seeking financial compensation for your unjust losses.
FINRA Arbitration and Securities Lawsuits
Many investment firms and financial advisors include binding arbitration clauses in their contracts. Clients who sign such agreements give up their right to sue their financial advisor for losses, but can still take legal action through arbitration. For cases involving stockbrokers, the arbitrations are most commonly held in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) dispute resolution forum. .
According to FINRA’s Code of Arbitration Procedure, each party has the right to be represented by an attorney at any stage of the arbitration proceeding. An experienced securities lawyer can help you navigate this unfamiliar and complex process.
If you suffered losses due to fraud by a financial firm or individual finance professional and did not have a binding arbitration agreement, you may have grounds to file a securities fraud lawsuit in court.
Some of the ways a securities lawyer can help their clients through the claims process include:
- Helping you prepare a strong case for the finder of fact;
- Providing pre-hearing legal guidance, such as determining whether you have a valid claim;
- For arbitrations, evaluating and helping select the best candidates for your case; and,
- Helping navigate the often-confusing rules and processes involved in court and arbitrations.
Some common situations in which an investment fraud lawyer may be able to help you file a securities fraud claim against your financial advisor include:
- A registered investment advisor breached their fiduciary by failing to protect the best interests of their client.
- The advisor or broker made a recommendation for an investment that was unsuitable for the client.
- The client lost money on investments due to misrepresentations or omissions of material facts.
- Failure to diversify an investor’s portfolio increases their risk of suffering major losses.
- Excessive trading (also known as churning) is when a broker buys or sells without a good faith basis to increase their commissions.
- Unauthorized trading by a broker who bought or sold securities without the investor’s permission.
If you believe that your financial advisor engaged in any of these behaviors and you suffered monetary losses as a result, a securities lawyer can evaluate your case and help you decide your next steps. In addition to filing an investment fraud lawsuit, some cases may involve criminal charges against the advisor.
What Should You Look for in a Securities Fraud Lawyer?
If you believe your rights as an investor have been violated and have decided to pursue legal action, choosing the right attorney is vital. This is a major decision and you should take the time to find an attorney with the qualifications needed to help you build a strong case and recover your losses.
Here are some key areas to focus on when hiring a securities and investment fraud lawyer:
Do they have experience in similar cases? – Look for a firm that has experience representing other clients who have suffered investment losses through securities fraud or negligence.
How are they paid? – You may be worried about the cost of a lawyer after suffering serious financial losses. At McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman, CO., our securities fraud lawyers often work on a contingency fee basis – meaning we only get paid if we help you recover financial compensation.
What is their reputation? – Seek a law firm with attorneys who are respected among peers in their field. At our firm, head investment misconduct lawyer Hugh Berkson is a member of the Board of Directors and has served as President of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (“PIABA”), an international bar association specializing in protecting investors in the securities industry.
How will they represent your best interests? – When meeting with a lawyer, ask them how they plan to help you build the most compelling case. An effective attorney will be able to communicate clearly, in plain language, and present strong evidence to back up your claims and show the court or arbitrators how you were defrauded.
You don’t just get a lawyer; you get our whole team.
Most law firms who do this kind of work, or claim to, will hand your file off to one of their attorneys. When you hire us, you get the whole Stock Market Loss team — a senior lawyer, his partners, associates, and our amazing support staff. Every case we accept is fully staffed, with the right person taking charge of what he or she does best. This team approach ensures that each of us is invested in your case, constantly sharing ideas and information and minimizing the chance that something important could slip by. In other words, we don’t just give you our all. We give you all of us, and we do it at no extra cost to you.
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For us, helping victimized investors is about more than money.
We did well-representing brokerage firms. We did well, but we didn’t do good. We really grew to despise the way broker-dealers and many financial advisors treated and still treat their customers. In fact, we got so sick of defending bad guys that we, in essence, fired our broker-dealer clients and built something we could feel good about. That’s how Stockmarketloss came about. We wanted to fight for causes and people we could believe in, and now we do, every day.