Archives for FINRA Arbitration

FINRA Lawyers can help protect investments

When someone has made financial investments in the form of securities, it is possible that their investments won’t result in the profit they anticipate. This can happen for a number of reasons, including changes in the industry you’ve invested in, but it can also be the result of broker misconduct. If you feel that your investments failed as the result of actions made by your broker, it’s important to find reliable a FINRA lawyer to help you with your case. There may have been misconduct on the part of your broker or brokerage firm which caused your investments to fail, and it’s important to explore all of these possibilities when determining the cause of your financial losses. FINRA is the regulatory organization which oversees the financial industry, including securities investments. A security is an investment which is made by individuals or businesses with the anticipation of a return in profit. Because these types of investments can be a good way to ensure a comfortable future for yourself and your family, investing has become a more common practice. FINRA exists to protect the market’s integrity and provide investors quick and effective regulation should they run into trouble. FINRA isn’t part of the government, but are authorized by congress to protect American investors in Florida and nationwide. Of course every investor assumes they are trading in a fair financial market, and FINRA’s regulatory efforts make this true the majority of the time.

However, there are predatory practices employed by brokers which can lead to losses on your end. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s likely that you have already agreed to solve any disputes through arbitration. When entering into arbitration for financial disputes there are many guidelines and procedures which have strict deadlines and must be followed accordingly. Failure to properly fill out paperwork, provide documentation, respond to motions, etc. can all invalidate your claim, resulting in potentially huge losses on your end. A qualified FINRA lawyer in Florida will help you navigate the many facets of securities arbitration and make sure that your claim is not only handled according to all of FINRA’s procedures, but handled in a way which ensures the best possible outcome for investors.

The Law Offices of Place and Hanley are experienced FINRA lawyers who help investors in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, greater Florida and nationwide settle their FINRA related disputes or arbitration. To have your case evaluated for free by experienced FINRA lawyers, contact The Law Offices of Place and Hanley, LLC.

Categories: FINRA Arbitration and Florida Securities Attorneys.

What is Securities Arbitration?

Securities Arbitration is the process, which takes place following a dispute with a broker or dealer. Prior to arbitration, the investor has determined that the broker engaged in some form of wrongdoing, or otherwise negligent action that resulted in a loss. Depending on the amount of the claim, the investor may or may not have to appear before an arbitrator or group of arbitrators. Arbitration is an alternative to settling in court and is often the preferred method of dispute resolution because it is typically faster and less expensive.

While typically a contract between a firm and investor is what provides ground for arbitration, the absence of a contractual agreement does not mean that the dispute cannot be settled through arbitration. If the broker or firm is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, they are bound to FINRAs procedural guidelines, which include the duty to participate in arbitration when a conflict arises.

Arbitration is NOT an investor complaint. If you want to make FINRA aware of any suspicious activity then you should file an investor complaint. Arbitration is similar to a court case, with formal proceedings but for the reasons stated above is a simpler and quicker alternative to litigation. If a claim is under $50,000 then the dispute can be settled through what is known as “Simplified Arbitration”. In this scenario, parties provide case materials, which are reviewed by an arbitrator; this does not require parties to appear in person. For cases involving larger sums, arbitration takes place in-person and is reviewed by a panel of up to 3 arbitrators.

To initiate an arbitration, the investor must submit what is known as a “Statement of Claim”. The statement of claim must be articulate and while there is no standardized format, following the format of a suit in court is effective. The statement of claim should include all the pertinent information that the arbitrator(s) need to make an intelligent decision. This included the nature of the dispute, any background information, dates, types of securities at hand, names of the parties involved, the kind of transactions that took place and the damages sought.

Following the statement of claim, the respondents must answer to the allegations. This must also be detailed and simple denial will not suffice. At this point in time the respondent can file a counter-claim against the investor or a 3rd party involved. Once the submission of facts from either side is received by FINRA, a hearing location is chosen. Before the hearing is a discover period, where documentation is provided and exchanged amongst parties involved and FINRA officials. This stage is a window of opportunity for the assertive attorney as it is the opportunity to obtain any and all relevant information from the other party prior to the hearing. Often, the persistence of a dedicated attorney during the prehearing discovery phase can result in a favorable verdict for their client.

The hearing itself is scheduled in advance and follows a similar format to a case in court. Witnesses are interviewed, cross-examined and evidence is produced. A series of questions are asked and there are multiple stages before the process is concluded. The arbitrators will determine what awards are served usually within 30 days of the last hearing. The award will include the basic facts of the dispute but does not have to provide justification or rationale behind the actual dollar amount awarded. The opportunity to appeal a decision exists on the state and federal level but it is rarely ever successful.

The Law Offices of Place & Hanley is a Naples, Florida based firm who have an extensive track record of successfully securing awards for their clients. The arbitration process is complex and difficult to navigate without the guidance and advocacy that skilled attorneys can provide. Place & Hanley offers a free case evaluation to determine the best course of action for you.

Categories: FINRA Arbitration, Florida Securities Attorneys, Securities Broker Misconduct, Securities Fraud, Securities Information, and Securities Investigations.

Florida FINRA Litigation

FINRA is the financial institution which regulates securities and the financial market. FINRA attorneys focus their practice on niche areas of FINRA law, whether they are defending brokers against regulatory inquiries, working on arbitration claims involving both investors & brokers, or defending investors against predatory broker practices. Most, if not every, brokerage firm requires potential investors to agree to resolve any disputes through FINRA arbitration. This is usually outlined in the opening documents, and states specifically that any issues will be settled through FINRA dispute resolution. Legal professionals with experience representing both investors & brokers before FINRA arbitrators should be familiar with all procedures, the forum & arbitrators. With their experience and knowledge, the first step to take if you have an issue with an investment should be to contact an accomplished FINRA attorney. They know how to properly prosecute cases on the behalf of both brokers and investors.

If you are an investor, they are many ways that you might feel you’ve been wronged by a broker or financial institution. You might believe that an investment made was unsuitable to your investment portfolio, or that an investment was made based on misleading or even fraudulent statements made by your broker. You might feel that your portfolio was over-concentrated in one industry or area, which resulted in your investments not being profitable or worthwhile. Even more concerning, you might feel your account was subjected to unauthorized trading, or churning (excessive trading to increase broker commissions). However you might feel that your investments have been mishandled, it’s important to consult with an attorney experienced in FINRA litigation to evaluate your case and determine any legal discourse necessary.

Most investment issues are resolved through securities arbitration, and as stated earlier, many brokers outline this requirement in their opening documents. Securities arbitration has become the most popular means of resolving broker-dealer conflicts in Florida and nationwide, largely due to a Supreme Court decision in 1987, and has long been used as it provides a quick and inexpensive alternative to arbitrating through the courts. After beginning the arbitration process, there are many different factors which need to be determined and decided upon by all involved parties, including arbitrator panel composition, hearing locations, and other details related to the arbitration process. While cases typically take between 1 year and 14 months to resolve, the process can be delayed or expedited depending on the complexity of the issue or the discovery timeline.

In Orlando and Florida, there are strict deadlines and regulations related to securities arbitration that can elude an inexperienced individual. If you are concerned about your investments it’s important to consult an experienced attorney who understands all FINRA litigation and arbitration requirements as they relate to Florida. Contact the Law Offices of Place and Hanley to have your case evaluated for free and determine the legal validity and potential outcomes of your unique situation.

Categories: Broker Fraud, Broker Investigations, FINRA Arbitration, and Florida Securities Attorneys.

Derek Bembry Suspended by FINRA

Derek Josef Bembry formerly registered with Signator Investors, Inc. (CRD #5878656, Kansas City, Missouri) submitted an AWC in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for six months. Without admitting or denying the findings, Bembry consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he failed to timely respond to FINRA’s requests for documents and information relating to disclosures made on his amended Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) regarding a customer’s written complaint alleging that Bembry failed to disclose tax implications on a loan the customer took from his variable life policy.

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC to discuss your legal options.  The Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC is dedicated to helping investors nationwide.  If you have lost money as a result of your broker’s recommendations, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses.  Contact our office toll free at (866) 318-4725 for a complimentary initial consultation.

Categories: Broker Fraud, Broker Investigations, FINRA Arbitration, Investor Protection, Securities Broker Misconduct, Securities Fraud, and Securities Investigations.

Braymen, Lambert and Noel Securities, Ltd. FINED by FINRA

Braymen, Lambert and Noel Securities, Ltd. (CRD® #124902, San Antonio, Texas) and Shannon Braymen (CRD #2099783, San Antonio, Texas) was censured and fined $70,000. Ms. Braymen was fined $20,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for one month. Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm and Ms. Braymen consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that the firm, acting through Ms. Braymen, failed to supervise its private placement securities business and the activities of registered representatives located in two of its branch offices. The findings stated that the firm, acting through Ms. Braymen, failed to register those two branch office locations. The findings also stated that the firm, acting through Ms. Braymen, failed to conduct and/ or to adequately document several branch office inspections. Specifically, the firm inspected five branch offices, but failed to document the inspections. The firm’s documentation failed to document the testing and verification of its policies and procedures. In addition, the firm and Ms. Braymen failed to maintain a schedule for compliance inspections of its non-branch offices and had inadequate supervisory systems and written supervisory procedures (WSPs) regarding scheduling such inspections. The findings also included that the firm, acting through Ms. Braymen, failed to capture, review and retain certain email correspondence, and failed to enforce its WSPs regarding documenting reviews of other email correspondence. The suspension is in effect from September 21, 2015, through October 20, 2015. (FINRA Case #2011025610501)

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC to discuss your legal options.  The Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC is dedicated to helping investors nationwide.  If you have lost money as a result of your broker’s recommendations, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses.  Contact our office toll free at (866) 318-4725 for a complimentary initial consultation.

Categories: Broker Fraud, FINRA Arbitration, Securities Broker Misconduct, and Securities Fraud.

FINRA Arbitration Orlando, Florida

FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It is an organization that oversees the securities industry. The organizations primary function is to protect investors and does so by subjecting traders to a set of rules and regulations. Enforcing rules and subjecting violators to punishment is what takes place after the detection of any wrongdoing. Educating the public is a primary function as well, as the best way to reduce the impact disputes have, is to avoid them altogether. Being that we live in an imperfect world and trade in an imperfect marketplace, disputes are inevitable. Once a dispute ensues, FINRA’s forum handles the overwhelming majority of arbitration’s and mediation’s with locations in all 50 states as well as in the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.

Since practically all disputes in this industry pass through the hands of FINRA, it is important to retain an attorney that is knowledgeable, experienced and tested when it comes to FINRA regulations, procedural nuances and formal hearings. While resolving a security complaint doesn’t necessarilly require you to have an attorney, if you are seeking a beneficial outcome, it is in your best interest. Brokerage firms will be represented by an attorney which is why you need to come represented as well. The attorneys that that defend brokerage firms are savvy and you’ll need a fierce advocate to represent your best interests.

Depending on the circumstances, a dispute will either result in Arbitration or Mediation. The former closely parallels a trial that would take place in a United States court. The state of Florida has specific narrowly tailored guidelines for arbitration that change the landscape of the field. In other states, individuals with no license to practice law can provide advice to disputant investors for a fee. Arrangements of this nature are banned in Florida. In addition to this, arbitrators can include reasonable attorneys fees as part of the settlement for the receiving party. Before any type of settlement is awarded, the facts are reviewed. The process requires an initiation (commencement) , a statement of claim, examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence.

The Law Offices of Place & Hanley is a South Florida based firm with the FINRA experience and insight needed to successfully secure a settlement on your behalf. The firms history with the security industry precedes the creation of FINRA. Whether your investments were poorly handled or you were the victim of stock fraud, Place & Hanley offers a free case evaluation to determine the best course of action for you.

Categories: FINRA Arbitration.

How to Recover Damages Through Securities Arbitration

Florida Securities Arbitration Attorneys at Place & Hanley, PLLC

If you have investments with a financial corporation or brokerage firm, it’s important to monitor your investments to ensure they are being handled according to your agreement with the broker. If you suspect that some fraudulent activity might be going on, including any activity you didn’t consent to, you might want to consider resolving the issue through arbitration. Arbitration is how the majority of disputes in the securities industry are resolved (as opposed to a traditional courtroom trial) because it is a quick and inexpensive way to solve complicated concerns.

The process will typically take anywhere between 12-14 months from the time the claim was filed, but the timeframe will vary depending on certain factors (# of involved parties, complexity of issues, personal schedules, volume of necessary discovery) and can be expedited in special circumstances (due to medical concerns or age). The first step is to file a Statement of Claim with FINRA. This will include the details of the dispute, including identifying the Claimant (who filed the claim) and Respondent (who the claim is against), and the type of damages requested. The Claimant must also file an Arbitration Submission Agreement and pay a filing fee, which depends on the amount of the claim, number of discovery motions, number of hearing sessions and any postponements. Next the claim gets served to the respondent(s), who then file an “answer” which specifies any relevant facts and outlines their defense.

After the answer is received, the arbitrator selection process begins. The Claimant and Respondent are provided lists of arbitrators (generated from FINRA’s Neutral List Selection System) and get the opportunity to evaluate their potential arbitrators and eliminate those they don’t want on their case. Depending on the dollar amount of the damages requested and parties involved, 1-3 arbitrators may be assigned. Next, you will have a prehearing conference with all parties involved including the appointed arbitrators to determine the timelines for discovery, briefing & motions, and evidentiary hearing dates.

After all discovery and any motions have been filed it is time for the actual hearing, which is similar to a normal trial where the Claimant will try and prove their claim and the Respondent will try to defend their position. The hearing will typically include testimony from involved parties and any witnesses, and reviewing any evidentiary documents. After the hearing arbitrators will then deliberate and render their decision of award, which is issued within 30 days. There is no appeals process offered through FINRA, but district courts do have the power to overturn an arbitration award under certain circumstances. Brokerage firms & brokers then have 30 days to pay you, or they risk suspension by FINRA.

This is a highly simplified version of the securities arbitration process, intended to give a general overview of how to collect damages through arbitration. To learn more or to have your case evaluated for free by legal experts, please contact The Law Offices of Place and Hanley.

Categories: FINRA Arbitration.

Kansas Broker Barred by FINRA for Failing to Cooperate with FINRA Investigation

According to FINRA’s Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions publication, Nicholas Hansen Harper (CRD #2767911) of Topeka, Kansas, was barred by FINRA for allegedly refusing to appear for on-the-record testimony involving allegations of trading in Client accounts. (See FINRA AWC No. 2013038203401)

According to FINRA’s Broker Check, Nicholas H. Harper has been permanently barred by FINRA from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.  Harper was registered in the securities industry for fifteen (15) years, and was registered with the following firm(s):

WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC

CRD #19616

TOPEKA, KS

10/1997 – 09/2013

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC to discuss your legal options.  The Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC is dedicated to helping investors nationwide.  If you have lost money as a result of your broker’s recommendations, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses.  Contact our office toll free at (866) 318-4725 for a complimentary initial consultation.

 

 

Categories: Broker Investigations, FINRA Arbitration, and Investor Protection.

Waxhaw North Carolina Broker Barred by FINRA

According to FINRA’s Disciplinary Actions publication, John (“Jack”) Michael Bannon (CRD #1062813) of Waxhaw, North Carolina, was barred by FINRA for failing to appear for a requested on-the-record interview involving allegations in a civil complaint that John Bannon converted at least $74,000 in client funds.

Furthermore, FINRA was also investigating Bannon’s alleged failure to disclose unsatisfied liens and judgments on his Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, and his potential unapproved and undisclosed outside business activities. (See FINRA AWC No. 2013037771802)

According to FINRA’s Broker Check, John Michael Bannon has been permanently barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public. Bannon was registered in the securities industry for thirty (30) years, and was registered with the following firm(s):

AUSDAL FINANCIAL PARTNERS, INC.

CRD #7995

WAXHAW, NC

09/2009 – 07/2013

 

WATERSTONE FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.

CRD #10078

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, IL

03/1985 – 09/2009

 

RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL, LTD.

CRD #8435

SCHAUMBURG, IL

09/1983 – 03/1985

 

AMERICAN CAPITAL FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.

CRD #146

09/1982 – 01/1984

 

If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC to discuss your legal options.  The Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC is dedicated to helping investors nationwide.  If you have lost money as a result of your broker’s recommendations, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses.  Contact our office toll free at (866) 318-4725 for a complimentary initial consultation.

 

Categories: Broker Investigations, FINRA Arbitration, Investor Protection, Securities Broker Misconduct, and Securities Fraud.

Place and Hanley Wins Full Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages for Client

The lawyers at Place & Hanley, LLC recently won a FINRA arbitration case alleging a fraudulent fee structure and unsuitable investment purchases.  You can read the entire award at http://finraawardsonline.finra.org/Search/ViewDocument/68630

If you have suffered investment losses, please contact the Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC to explore your legal options. The Law Offices of Place and Hanley, LLC is dedicated to helping investors who have been victims of securities fraud. If you have lost money as a result of securities fraud, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses.

Contact our office toll free at (866) 318-4725 for a complimentary initial consultation or email rp@placeandhanley.com

 

Categories: FINRA Arbitration.