FINRA Issues Warning over Non-Lawyer Arbitration Representatives
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released a statement warning investors that a number of non-lawyer representatives have exploited customer claimants they represented in FINRA’s arbitration and mediation forum.
FINRA was made aware of this issue after customer claimants made allegations, reporting that their representatives took settlement money they were aware of, were represented without first securing consent from the claimant, and by charging non-refundable deposits totaling as much as $25,000.
FINRA is also concerned that few, if any, of these non-lawyer representatives have malpractice insurance. Addressing these concerns is expected to be one of its top priorities in 2018. It will likely send out a regulatory notice to seek comment on what actions should be taken. Some options on the table include issuing a guidance on what customer claimants should be considering when they hire non-lawyer representatives, or outright barring non-lawyer representatives in arbitration and mediation forums.
While FINRA’s current rules permit non-lawyer representatives, there are certain exceptions when this is not permitted like when the chosen representative is disbarred or currently suspended, barred or suspended from the securities industry, or in cases where state law does not permit a non-lawyer representative.
If you were taken advantage of by a non-lawyer representative, contact the law firm of Meyer Wilson today. Our investment fraud attorneys have spent nearly two decades representing clients throughout the United States, and through our efforts we have recovered more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements. Start out with a free consultation by providing us the details of your case through our online form, or call us at one of our offices today to discuss your case with one of our attorney over the phone.
What Happens When You Can't Reach a Settlement in Securities Mediation
Although stockbroker mediation can be a powerful tool for harmed investors, there are times when you are unable to come to a settlement. FINRA reports that about 80 percent of cases that pursue their mediation program are resolved in mediation, but what happens if you are part of the remaining 20 percent that is unable to settle?
The good news is that entering into mediation does not take away your right to later enter arbitration or litigation against your stockbroker or brokerage firm, and many people find that arbitration moves more quickly and is more successful after going through the mediation process. You may have come to an agreement on a portion of the concerns in your case, and you are likely to have better insight into both the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.
There may be several options open to you, and how you proceed after stockbroker mediation fails will depend on the details of your case and your circumstances. For more specific information about your case, please speak with an experienced securities mediation lawyer in a free and confidential consultation.
The stockbroker mediation attorneys with Meyer Wilson have represented more than 800 harmed investors across the nation in FINRA mediation, arbitration, and litigation, and we’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns. You can reach us by phone, or you can fill out our easy online contact form for more information.
To learn more about spotting investment scams and broker misconduct, please also request your FREE copy of our valuable book Five Signs of Investment Fraud…And What to Do if It’s Happened to You.
How Does FINRA Mediation Work?
Learn more about the process of FINRA mediation from a securities mediation attorney, and find out what happens if you don’t sign the settlement agreement.
If you have been wronged by your stockbroker or brokerage firm, you may be facing mediation through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The mediation process allows you and your broker to work with a neutral third party to come to an appropriate solution. FINRA mediation proceedings can generally be broken down into these four major steps:
- The mediation process is initiated with FINRA.
- A neutral third party mediator is agreed upon and selected.
- The mediation sessions take place in an attempt to work toward a settlement.
- The mediation results in either a settlement or an impasse.
The mediation process is completely voluntary, and you are under no obligation to agree to the settlement if you are dissatisfied with the outcome. You can instead choose to proceed with formal arbitration proceedings.
Going through FINRA mediation and arbitration can be a lengthy and confusing process. Turn to the professionals for valuable advice and support along the way. You can reach a skilled securities mediation attorney with Meyer Wilson today by calling us or filling out our confidential online contact form. Our investment fraud lawyers have represented investors nationwide in stockbroker mediation, arbitration, and litigation, and we take pride in putting our resources and experience to work for each and every one of our clients.
To learn more about protecting yourself and your family from securities fraud and stockbroker misconduct, request your FREE copy of our helpful book Five Signs of Investment Fraud …And What to Do if it’s Happened to You.