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Investment professionals are bound by securities laws and fiduciary duties to act in their clients’ best interests. When your broker fails to fulfill those obligations, your investment funds lost due to financial adviser negligence or fraud can be recovered through a securities lawsuit.
Securities lawsuits are typically resolved through arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Because FINRA arbitration rules and procedures are different than traditional lawsuits, it is important that you consult with attorneys experienced with this unique dispute resolution forum.
The Business Trial Group has helped investors recover millions of dollars in losses, all on a contingency-fee basis.
The Business Trial Group’s Fort Lauderdale securities arbitration attorneys handle investor disputes for clients throughout Florida on a contingency-fee basis. We have helped investors recover millions of dollars in losses incurred as a result of broker misconduct and securities fraud. Our clients pay no up-front fees and no fees at all unless we recover their damages.
If you have suffered significant losses as a result of possible financial advisor or stockbroker misconduct or fraud, contact us for a free case review.
Securities Fraud and Broker Misconduct Lawsuits We Handle
Securities firm misconduct is a widespread problem that costs inventors hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Research shows that some firms are disproportionately prone to misconduct and prey on elderly or vulnerable customers.
The Business Trial Group represents investors in a wide range of securities lawsuits, including those involving the following types of misconduct:
- Unsuitable investments: Brokers have a duty to know their clients and only recommend investments that are in line with a client’s profile, including their investment goals and risk tolerance. If an adviser does not have a reasonable basis for recommending a security, the investment may be “unsuitable.”
- Churning: Investment account “churning” refers to excessive trading activity in a client’s account done for the purpose of generating broker commissions. Account churning is a violation of a broker’s duty to act in a client’s best interests.
- Unauthorized trading: Brokers may be given limited authority to execute trades on an investor’s behalf, but in most cases, a broker must obtain client permission before executing a securities transaction. If a transaction is completed without an investor’s knowledge and authorization, it could be considered unauthorized trading.
- Overconcentration: Diversifying one’s portfolio with different types of investments in different economic sectors is an important risk mitigation strategy. Overconcentration occurs when a portfolio is heavily invested in limited sectors and/or asset classes.
- Misrepresentations and omissions: Financial advisers must truthfully present investment information. Misrepresenting an investment means making an untrue statement of a material fact about the investment. Omission occurs when a broker does not disclose an essential fact about an investment.
- Breach of fiduciary duty: Because investment professionals have superior financial knowledge compared to their clients, a strong duty of care and loyalty—known as a fiduciary duty—is imposed on the adviser to prevent potential abuses of trust. Any broker action that is not in the client’s best interest could be considered a breach of fiduciary duty.
We often find that our clients are damaged by multiple types of broker misconduct. For example, a broker might misrepresent an investment that is also unsuitable for the client.
In addition to improper investment strategies that can lead to client losses, an investment may itself be problematic and cause losses. A broker, for instance, might recommend that a client purchase an interest in a fraudulent financial product or a Ponzi scheme.
Regardless of the investment that a broker recommends, it must be thoroughly researched by the broker, appropriate for the client it is recommended to, and fully and accurately explained to the investor.
But regardless of the investment that a broker recommends, it must be thoroughly researched by the broker, appropriate for the client it is recommended to, and fully and accurately explained to the investor—including potential broker conflicts-of-interest.
If you suffered investment losses in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, hedge funds, private placements, insurance products, annuities, or other types of investments and believe that broker fraud or negligence is to blame, contact our Fort Lauderdale investment fraud attorneys for a free consultation.
About FINRA Arbitration
When you signed a contract for a securities firm’s brokerage services, you most likely consented to waive your right to a jury trial in the event of a dispute with the firm or one of its brokers. Instead of a trial by jury, your dispute with the broker/brokerage firm is resolved in FINRA arbitration.
Arbitration is an alternative to litigation that is intended to allow disputes to be settled out of court by a neutral panel. In reality, however, FINRA arbitration panels often have Wall Street connections and these potential conflicts-of-interest can be unfavorable to investors.
Investors who do not hire an experienced securities arbitration attorney could find themselves at a disadvantage as they take on a securities firm, which will almost certainly be represented by highly paid outside counsel.
In 2016, securities customers were awarded some portion of their claimed damages in just 41% of cases. That is, in 59% of cases, customers were not awarded any of their claimed damages.
To improve your chances for success, make sure you hire a law firm with the resources, knowledge, and experience to take on Wall Street and large financial firms. Contact the Business Trial Group to review your claim.
Fort Lauderdale Securities Attorneys on a Contingency-Fee Basis
The Business Trial Group has seen firsthand the devastating impact that securities firms’ misconduct can have on investors. We also routinely witness the power disparity that Wall Street uses to prevent individual investors from reaching an equitable resolution of their claims.
We believe that cases should be decided on the merits and that all investors deserve highly qualified legal representation to protect their rights. This is why the Business Trial Group handles all investment loss cases on a contingency-fee basis. This model allows investors to work with the experienced attorneys of the largest plaintiffs’ firm in the country, without worrying about soaring legal costs.
To learn more about investors’ rights and how our Fort Lauderdale securities fraud lawyers help investors, schedule a no-cost, no-obligation case review with our Broward County office.