Securities Attorney Representing Clients Nationwide in FINRA Arbitration
Investments are not always handled properly, and poor investment strategies can result in substantial losses. While there is risk in any investment, when losses are caused by negligent or fraudulent behavior, the investor may have a cause of action against the broker or financial advisor who caused the loss. Seeking compensation for losses through securities litigation can be costly and time-consuming. Thus, in many cases, the parties will choose to proceed to FINRA arbitration to resolve their dispute. If you suffered financial harm because of the negligent or fraudulent acts of a broker or financial advisor, New York FINRA arbitration lawyer Irwin Weltz can assist you in seeking recourse for your harm. He has more than 25 years of experience assisting clients in FINRA arbitration and securities litigation.
What is FINRA?
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, also known as FINRA, is an independent organization that regulates brokers and brokerage firms to protect investors from broker misconduct. FINRA is not a government agency but instead operates under authority from Congress to make sure that investors are treated honestly and fairly. In addition to drafting and ensuring compliance with regulations, FINRA regularly conducts arbitration, and the majority of securities disputes are resolved through FINRA arbitration. Notably, a FINRA arbitration is final and binding, and it is subject to review by a court only in very limited instances.
Filing a Statement of Claim
The first step of the FINRA arbitration process involves filing a Statement of Claim. The party who files the Statement of Claim, also known as the claimant, should set forth the details of the alleged harm, including the theory of liability, the people and companies that caused the alleged harm, any relevant dates, and the relief sought. A FINRA arbitration attorney in New York can make sure that each of these steps is taken. The party from which the claimant is seeking relief is called the respondent. A claimant can request monetary compensation, the performance of a contract, and interest. The claimant must also file a Submission Agreement and pay any fees. Once a Statement of Claim is filed, the respondent will file an answer, setting forth any relevant facts and defenses to the Claim.
After the Claim is filed and answered, the parties will select arbitrators from a list developed by FINRA. Whether one arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators will decide the case depends on the amount of damages alleged. The arbitrators will review the evidence in the case and ultimately issue a decision. The claimant and the respondent can review the resumes and prior awards of the arbitrators selected and can strike arbitrators from the list. The parties will then rank arbitrators who were not stricken from the list in their order of preference and submit the choices to FINRA.
Initial Prehearing Conference
After an arbitrator or panel is appointed, FINRA will schedule an Initial Prehearing Conference. During the conference, which is usually conducted over the phone, the arbitrators will schedule the relevant dates and deadlines for the matter, including the hearing date and discovery deadlines, and they can discuss other preliminary issues.
During the discovery process, your New York FINRA arbitration attorney can help you seek evidence from the other parties to the arbitration to support your claim. Meanwhile, you may be required to produce certain information and documents, such as tax returns, financial statements, and documentation of your communications with your broker or financial advisor.
Hearing and Decision
After discovery is completed, if the parties are not able to come to a resolution independently, an arbitration hearing will be held, during which each party will present evidence and witnesses in support of their position, similar to a trial. Most hearings last a few days, but in complex cases, they may take weeks. Within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator or the panel will render a decision.