Orlando Investment Fraud Attorneys
What Makes a Good Securities Case? (Evaluation Process)
There are several types of behavior that can constitute viable securities and investment loss claims. At Hornsby Law, we begin each client consultation with four basic questions:
- What did your stockbroker or investment adviser tell you about the investments?
- What transpired with these investments and, in your opinion, why?
- What were your investment goals?
- What was your investment experience and history?
If your answers to these questions raise red flags, you may have a valid claim against your financial advisor or brokerage firm. Investment fraud can and does affect all types of investors. If you or a loved one has become a victim of a dishonest or negligent investment professional, it’s important to take immediate action. Contact our Orlando investment fraud attorneys for more information today.
The Process for Recovering Investment Losses
When securities and investment firms fail to deal with investors fairly and honestly, legal recourse may be your best option. Our personalized service for clients entails a focused approach that includes giving you an honest assessment of your chances for financial recovery. We begin this process by conducting a detailed evaluation of your case. This includes:
- A complete review of your investment experiences, including your stated investment objectives. We consider your age, net worth, work history, investment history and stage in life;
- Calculating the investment losses in your brokerage account;
Analyzing and evaluating the prevailing market conditions during appropriate time frames;
- Reviewing and analyzing your brokerage account, as well as the commissions and fees charged to your account;
- Evaluating and understanding the pattern of trading and investment activity in your account; and
- Analyzing the suitability of the investments recommended and sold to you.
In addition, we will prepare the necessary evidence and exhibits related to your case and perform the appropriate legal research. In some instances, we may retain an expert witness in an effort to help prove your damages and to analyze and explain what went wrong and why.
Where Are the Cases Heard? (The Arbitration Process)
Most securities brokerage firms include arbitration clauses in their customer agreements. Arbitration clauses usually require that disputes be resolved in arbitration before a securities self-regulatory organization (SRO) such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), formerly known as either the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). According to USA Today, investors have won more disputes in arbitration and collected more in damages in recent years than in the past. FINRA, which oversees almost 90% of investor arbitrations, reports that 58% of arbitration rulings favored investors compared to 54% in past years.
Besides an increased winning percentage, the arbitration procedure holds other advantages for the investor. It dramatically cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get a dispute resolved and is far less inconvenient than taking a case to trial. Arbitration proceedings are usually scheduled 10 to 14 months after a claim is filed and the discovery process can be far less burdensome than what is usually encountered during trial preparation.
Arbitrations are typically held in the FINRA arbitration venue located closest to the Claimant’s residence. Cities such as Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, and Boca Raton all are current FINRA arbitration venues.
What You Will Need to Disclose (the Discovery Process)
The discovery process in a securities case will likely require you to provide detailed personal financial information including, but not limited to, the following:
- Personal and Business Tax Returns
- Financial Statements from All Brokerage and Securities Accounts
- Documents Related to the Accounts at Issue
- Notes About the Accounts at Issue
- Correspondence to or from Your Broker or Financial Advisor
- Prospectuses or Other Documents Received Relating to Your Investment
- A Resume or Description of Your Education and Employment History
This list is only the beginning, other documents and information may be requested and required to be provided during the arbitration process. Let our Orlando investment fraud attorneys help you.
Fees and Expenses
In most instances, Hornsby Law represents investors on a contingency fee basis. Under a contingency fee arrangement, we only receive a legal fee if we are able to obtain an award or settlement on your behalf.
Generally, there are four major expenses associated with a FINRA arbitration dispute. These expenses are considered the client’s responsibility.
First, there is a non-refundable filing fee that occurs when an investor submits a Statement of Claim with FINRA. These fees vary depending on the amount involved in the dispute. The average filing fee is $1,250. To help individuals estimate various fees involved in a FINRA arbitration dispute, FINRA’s Web site provides an Arbitration Filing Fee Calculator and Hornsby Law will inform you of the fee prior to filing your Statement of Claim.
In addition to filing fees, there are hearing session fees. A hearing session is any meeting among the parties and the panel that lasts four hours or less, including a pre-hearing conference with the panel. A hearing day consists of two hearing sessions. Hearing session fees also vary and depend on the number of hearing sessions and the number of arbitrators involved. Generally, these fees range from $750 to $1,200.
The second major expense in a FINRA arbitration dispute is attorney fees. The hours an attorney spends on a case can vary greatly, depending on its complexity. Hornsby Law represents most of its clients on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, we only receive a legal fee if an award or settlement is received and the award or settlement is actually collected.
The third major expense occurs if expert witnesses are retained. An expert witness is someone who brings specialized knowledge and credentials to your case and whose testimony during the hearing could help FINRA arbitrators understand important issues. Expert witnesses generally are paid for the time they spend reviewing your case and providing testimony. We will consult and advise you on any costs for retaining a competent expert witness and on the scope of their involvement in your case.
The fourth major expense is reimbursement for such items as duplication of materials, telephone, postage, travel, and similar expenditures.
If you believe the services of an investment fraud attorney will benefit any arbitration you will be involved in, please call Hornsby Law at (407) 599-3800 for a consultation.
The hiring of an Orlando investment fraud attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.