Securities Fraud Attorneys - The White Law Group
Who we are – The White Law Group
Managing partner, D. Daxton White, a member of the Florida and Illinois Bar Associations, has been practicing securities law since 2003. He is a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), an association of securities attorneys who dedicate their practices to the representation of investors defrauded by their financial professional or brokerage firm. He is an AV rated attorney by Martindale Hubbell, the attorney rating service, indicating the highest rating for legal ability and ethics.
Michael D. Kennedy, partner with The White Law Group, was selected to the 2021 Illinois Rising Stars list, a designation of top-rated practicing attorneys selected through extensive evaluation. He is a member of the Washington State and Illinois State Bar Associations, as well as a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA).
What we do – Help for Investors
If you have suffered investment losses with your financial advisor due to broker negligence or misconduct, the securities fraud attorneys at the White Law Group may be able to help you.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA), the self-regulator of the securities industry, operates the largest dispute resolution forum in the securities industry. In fact, FINRA Dispute Resolution is the forum for almost all disputes between investors, brokerage firms and individual brokers. This is because the vast majority of brokerage firms have mandatory arbitration clauses in their account agreements that require investors to file their disputes through FINRA.
If you are looking to recover damages due to an unscrupulous or negligent broker, the securities fraud attorneys at The White Law Group can file an arbitration claim or request mediation through FINRA. You need to file your claim within six years of the alleged act, although there are some exceptions to the rule. See FINRA Rule 12206 Eligibility.
How it Works – FINRA Arbitration Process
The first step is to call The White Law Group for a free consultation with one of our experienced investment fraud attorneys. Our firm representatives will go through an intake call with you and see if you have a viable claim. The securities attorneys will then evaluate your claim, and possibly move forward. See: Can I Sue my Financial Advisor?
The next steps will include specific document discovery obligations and paying a filing fee to FINRA and then filing the claim. The securities fraud attorneys at The White Law Group will walk you through the process.
The FINRA arbitration process requires an in-person hearing decided by a panel of three arbitrators, with one chairing the hearing.
FINRA arbitrations usually take between 12-15 months from the date of filing and depositions are discouraged, making the process generally faster and less expensive than litigation filed in Court.
A FINRA arbitrator or panel will listen to the arguments of each party, study the testimonial and/or documentary evidence, and then give a decision. When an arbitration case goes to a hearing, it can take up to 16 months for an award to be determined. The arbitrator’s decision in the dispute is called an award and it is final and binding.
Many securities fraud cases do settle. In some situations, the parties agree to mediate their dispute prior to the arbitration hearing. Mediation is a voluntary process using the services of an independent third party who attempts to facilitate a settlement between the parties by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the respective party’s case and offering his/her opinion on what the eventual outcome may be at arbitration. The securities fraud attorneys at The White Law Group will walk you through the entire process.
Do I have a case? Securities Fraud Claims
Under ethical conduct guidelines, a financial advisor or broker is obligated to follow certain standards and principles to ensure they act in the best interests of their clients. The securities fraud attorneys at The White Law Group are experienced in representing investors in the following types of investment fraud cases:
Misrepresentation: Advisors are not allowed to provide false or misleading information to clients. They should accurately represent their qualifications, experience, and the products or services they offer.
Churning: Churning refers to excessive trading by a broker in a client’s account to generate commissions. Advisors must not engage in this practice as it can result in unnecessary costs and may not align with the client’s best interests.
Conflict of Interest: Advisors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest that could compromise their objectivity or prevent them from acting in the client’s best interests. They should avoid situations where their personal or financial interests’ conflict with those of their clients.
Unsuitable Recommendations: Advisors must not recommend investments that are unsuitable for their clients based on their financial situation, risk tolerance, investment objectives, and other relevant factors. They should ensure their recommendations align with the client’s needs and preferences.
Broker Negligence: Brokers have a duty to exercise reasonable care and diligence when providing advice or managing client accounts. They should not engage in negligent behavior that could harm their clients’ financial interests.
Unauthorized Trading: Advisors must obtain the client’s permission before making any trades on their behalf. Unauthorized trading, where the advisor executes trades without the client’s consent, is prohibited.
Breach of Confidentiality: Brokers have a duty to maintain client confidentiality. They must not disclose or use confidential client information for personal gain or to the detriment of their clients.
Failing to Disclose Fees and Costs: Advisors must provide clear and transparent information about the fees, charges, and costs associated with their services. They should not hide or misrepresent these costs to clients.
Securities Fraud Red Flags – Is my Broker Abusing my Portfolio?
These signs should raise concerns and prompt you consult with our experienced securities fraud attorneys to assess whether broker fraud or misconduct may be occurring.
- Lack of communication: Your broker consistently fails to return your calls or respond to your inquiries, making it difficult for you to stay informed about your investments.
- Incomprehensible statements: You struggle to understand the transactions and details presented on your account statements, indicating a lack of transparency or potentially misleading information.
- Non-disclosure of important information: Your broker fails to disclose crucial information about an investment purchase, such as associated risks, fees, or conflicts of interest, depriving you of the necessary information to make informed decisions.
- High-risk and speculative investments: Your broker begins engaging in excessive trading or encourages you to invest in high-risk and speculative investments that are inconsistent with your risk tolerance and investment objectives.
- Capital gains taxes despite decreasing account value: You find yourself paying capital gains taxes even when the overall value of your account is decreasing, which may indicate excessive trading or unsuitable investment recommendations.
- Unauthorized transactions: You discover transactions on your account statements that you did not authorize or were not aware of, suggesting potential unauthorized trading or fraudulent activity.
- Significant losses beyond reasonable expectations: If you are retired and have experienced a loss of more than 15% of your account in a single year or have suffered substantial losses in a single security, it may be prudent to have an independent review of your account to ensure your investments align with your investment objectives.
For more information or a free consultation with our experienced securities fraud attorneys, please call The White Law Group at 888-637-5510. The White Law Group is a national securities fraud law firm with offices in Seattle, Washington and Chicago, Illinois. We represent investors in all 50 states in claims against their financial advisors.