Filing Your Case Before FINRA
Both up-and-coming and seasoned investors need to have a working knowledge of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a not-for-profit organization under the auspices of Congress, and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).The FINRA organization ensures the integrity of financial markets by regulating the qualifications and actions of brokers. FINRA also requires honesty and full-disclosure from brokers, helping investors participate in the markets with confidence.
What Is the FINRA Arbitration Process?
If you suspect that your investment loss was due to the wrongful, fraudulent or negligent actions of a financial broker, then your next step might involve taking legal action to right this wrong.
However, going to court is not always your best option, especially when compared to FINRA Arbitration. Courtroom proceedings are typically complex, costly and more time-consuming than FINRA Arbitration. Seeking out arbitration is a formal alternative that might better suit your needs. Which route to take can depend on many factors. An experienced investment loss attorney can analyze these factors and help you select your best option.
Instead of a judge or jury deciding your fate, a FINRA arbitrator or panel of arbitrators will render a final decision. The number of arbitrators assigned to your case will depend on the size of the claim being made. Typically, arbitrators will consist of retired judges, attorneys or industry professionals.
Final decisions, commonly referred to as awards, will come after the arbitrators have heard both arguments, sets of evidence and testimonies. FINRA awards are almost always final and binding, with very little chance for appeal.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a FINRA Complaint?
Investors typically have six years to bring a claim against a FINRA licensed broker or FINRA licensed broker dealers. The six year time period to bring a case can sometimes be extended when the date of the wrongdoing is uncertain or unknown. To initiate this process, you must submit a statement of claim and a submission agreement, in addition to paying the required filing fees.
The statement of claim contains a summary of facts that support your FINRA complaint. Signing a submission agreement means that you will abide by FINRA’s rules and procedures. An experienced attorney will help you meet any important filing deadlines and hold the broker or brokerage firm accountable for your investment loss.
What Is the FINRA Mediation Process?
Another alternative to going to court and entering into litigation consists of an informal process called FINRA mediation. Through this process, two parties to a dispute work together to appoint a mediator. This mediator will then work with each party, both separately and in joint sessions, to reach a resolution. If no resolution can be found, then the dispute may still go to arbitration or litigation.
It is important that both parties select a FINRA mediator that has direct experience with the subject matter of their case. The strengths and weaknesses of a case are not always apparent, and a FINRA mediator can dissect what could happen if the dispute does not settle.
FINRA mediators have no authority to compel both parties to settle, so you should only enter into mediation if you are determined to reach a resolution. Usually you will obtain better and optimized mediation results when you have an experienced investment loss attorney handling your case. The typical mediation case involves the following steps:
- Filing a request for mediation
- Selecting a mediator
- Attending mediation sessions
- Reaching a settlement, or
- Reaching an impasse if negotiations fail
Contact Our FINRA Attorneys Today for a Free Case Evaluation
The mission of FINRA and PIABA lawyers is to enforce FINRA rules and securities laws that were enacted in 1933 and 1934. They were enacted during the great depression to protect investors. The security laws have been modified over time to continue to help protect investors. Since then, many cases involving investment loss have been fought and won.
However, handling investor loss cases can be very complex, so speaking with an experienced investment loss attorney beforehand can help you determine whether your case is worth the hassle. Further, representing yourself will pose challenges if you are unfamiliar with FINRA policies, securities laws, or rules and regulations. Many investors find themselves overwhelmed with the procedures and need the help of an experienced attorney to navigate the FINRA procedures. Murrin Law Firm helps investors and, when appropriate, files claims in FINRA to protect investor rights across the country. If you suspect that your rights as an investor have been violated, then contact our attorney with years of FINRA experience at (562) 342-3011 for a free case evaluation.