All Investors Have Rights – We Fight to Protect Yours
Knowledgeable Attorneys Helping Investors Victimized by Stockbroker Fraud
Fighting for clients who have been cheated out of their life savings due to stockbroker fraud and incompetence
Brokers and brokerage firms are supposed work for their investor clients – not the other way around. The wrongdoers should be held accountable when stockbrokers, supervisors and brokerage firms misrepresent the truth about the investments, omit important facts about the investments they recommend, and place their own interests ahead of their clients’ interests. When brokers and firms scheme to take advantage of investors or act with negligence and a lack of integrity, the offender’s fraud should be immediately stopped, the wrongdoers should be held financially liable for their wrongs and for their clients’ losses, and future transgressions should be deterred.
Richard Frankowski, the founding partner of The Frankowski Firm, has been advocating for individual and institutional investors for 15 years. Our firm’s lawyers understand the complexities of state and federal securities laws. We also are intimately aware of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rules that govern all aspects of the securities arbitration process. We represent clients before arbitration panels, in court, and in mediation. Our practice is dedicated to protecting investor rights and to correcting the wrongful conduct that damages our clients.
Our goal is to fight for the rights of investors and to hold financial brokers and entities liable for greed, malpractice, fraud, and negligence. The Frankowski Firm has a proven track record of obtaining large awards for financial injustice.
What kinds of investment injury claims do our attorneys handle?
The Frankowski firm has tackled some of the most complex claims of broker fraud in the country. We are well-equipped to take on cases involving:
- Suitability Claim
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Failure to Diversify
- Selling Away
- Ponzi Scheme
- Failure to Supervise
- Mutual Funds
- Master Limited Partnership
- REITs- Non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts
- Closed End Funds
- Private Placement Investments
- Penny Stocks
- Variable Annuity Fraud
- Unsuitable Margin Trading
- Breach of contract
- Pyramid schemes
- Unauthorized trading
- Misrepresentation and omissions
- Credit default swaps
- Hedge fund fraud
There are many other types of investment issues and financial wrongs that merit bringing a legal claim. Know your rights. Speak with one of our investment attorneys if you have lost money with your stockbroker.
"I am proud to have Richard [Frankowski] as my attorney. He combines expertise in complicated areas of the law with a genuine personal concern for his clients. He is one of the rare individuals who is at the top of his profession, and is both respected by peers and valued by clients."
What are your rights when stockbrokers act fraudulently or negligently?
Stockbrokers, broker dealers, and investment companies are bound by a variety of financial laws and obligations. The federal securities laws, along with the state securities laws (called Blue Sky laws) of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., regulate the duties that apply to the financial industry and the standards that the industry must meet. Investors should know that if a loss occurs, it is NOT always due to market forces. Wrongful conduct within the industry occurs every day. It is not uncommon to see brokers and the firms they work for with multiple marks on their records. When your broker fails to comply with the laws and regulations that govern his or her conduct and responsibilities, you have the right to file a claim against them and the firm that supervises them.
Some of the common obligations that all brokers and financial investment companies have to investors include:
- Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
- Duty of Disclosure
- Duty of Authorization for Trading
- Duty of Requirement of Suitable Recommendations
- Duty of Special Situations
- Duty of Supervisory Responsibility
If your stockbroker has not fulfilled his or her obligations to you, and that breach of duty caused you to lose money, then you can pursue compensation through a claim. As an investor, you have a “Bill of Rights” designed to protect your interests and your investments from acts of fraud or wrongdoing.
Simply put, you have the right to:
- Ask your broker or brokerage firm about their background, as well as the types of experiences they have had, as it relates to investors like you.
- Be told the truth about background or experience of the firm or the broker you chose.
- Be given a complete list of fees, charges, commissions, costs, and penalties that will be or may be incurred by you before, during or after the time of your investment.
- Request and receive information regarding the risks you face and the obligations you must meet, as well as any terms and conditions that may apply, before you invest any of your money.
- Receive investment recommendations that are consistent with your needs and goals, even if those needs and goals change over time.
- Receive any and all completed documentation and communications about your account – including account statements, completed forms and agreements – during and after your time with the firm.
- Request and receive access to your funds at any time, and to be informed about potential and actual limitations on that access in a timely manner.
- Work with a manager or member of the compliance team in the event of a problem.
- Be treated with respect, have your questions answered promptly, truthfully and completely at all times.
How does securities arbitration work?
Most broker fraud and negligence cases are now heard through FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitration. Securities arbitration is mandated for most investor disputes because brokerage firms usually include an arbitration provision in their contracts with investor clients. Once you sign their contract, you are usually obligated to abide by that contract. That means giving up your right to a trial by a jury of your peers, and going to FINRA arbitration to resolve any disputes you may have with your broker or firm.
Filing a claim with a FINRA arbitration panel is very different from pursuing your case in state or federal court.
In FINRA arbitration, claims are not heard by a judge and are not decided by a jury. Instead, arbitrators are selected by the parties to decide the investor’s case. The number of arbitrators depends on the amount of the claim: claims with damages less than $50,000 usually are decided by a single arbitrator, while larger claims are resolved by a panel of three arbiters. The discovery process in arbitration is limited: the parties do not get to depose witnesses and written discovery is limited by the rules and/or by the arbitrators. If an investor’s claim cannot be settled, the case is tried before the three arbitrator panel. In simplified arbitrations (those with damages under $50,000, the single arbitrator decides the case based on the documents and briefs submitted by the parties, without having an in-person evidentiary hearing.
Contact our stockbroker fraud attorneys today
The Frankowski Firm represents clients throughout the country in FINRA securities arbitration claims. Our track record of success includes winning claims against Regions Morgan Keegan, Raymond James, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, Prudential Securities, and other investment firms as well as individual brokers. Schedule an appointment by contacting us now at 888-741-7503 or by completing our contact form.