The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a self-regulatory organization that oversees that nation’s brokerage firms and brokers. FINRA lawyers represent the interests of investors by helping them pursue compensation for investment losses before FINRA arbitrators, as a lawyer, like a FINRA lawyer Anne Arundel County, MD from a law firm like Crepeau Mourges, can explain.
1. Thoroughly review the details of your case
A qualified FINRA lawyer will begin by reviewing your case. You cannot recover compensation if you lost money simply due to ‘back luck’ or ‘market risk’. Instead, you must be able to prove that your broker’s negligence or misconduct contributed to your losses.
Your lawyer will be able to review your case in order to determine if you have a viable claim. In general, your FINRA lawyer will take a look at:
• Account statements;
• Promises made by your broker;
• Correspondence with your broker;
• Your financial goals;
• Your understanding of the products you were investing in; and
• Your level of risk tolerance.
2. Present your recovery options
Should you have a viable claim, your lawyer will be able to help you explore all of your available options and remedies. In the overwhelming majority of cases, brokers and brokerage firms require their customers to sign agreements that contain mandatory arbitration provisions.
This type of provision compels arbitration instead of securities litigation. However, even if you signed an arbitration clause, you and your broker may be able to settle the issue with informal negotiation or FINRA mediation.
3. File a Statement of Claim
If your broker refuses to cooperate, your lawyer will help you take legal action. To get the process moving, you will need to initiate arbitration by filing a Statement of Claim. In effect, your Statement of Claim is your legal complaint.
It is your chance to outline your side of the story. It is imperative that your Statement of Claim is well-reasoned and backed by strong supporting evidence. It should be drafted by a qualified FINRA plaintiff lawyer.
4. Prepare for FINRA arbitration
Finally, your FINRA lawyer will help you prepare for arbitration itself. In essence, a FINRA arbitration proceeding is similar to a mini-trial. There will be opening statements, evidence will be presented, witnesses will give testimony and be cross-examined, and closing statements will be given.
With limited exceptions, FINRA arbitration awards are final. If you are considering arbitration to recover compensation for your investment losses, you need to be represented by a skilled lawyer.
Contact a local FINRA lawyer for all your questions and clarifications on what they do and how they can help you.