Filing a claim for most investors is a walk over a new bridge and involves doing something they have never done before: filing a “lawsuit.” Most people never wanted to have anything to do with the law, but if you lost your life savings, you really do not have much of a choice but to fight to get it back. The stress you may feel engaging in this process can be mitigated by understanding what lies ahead to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and physically – by getting your evidence lined up. Outlined below is the process of filing a claim in arbitration through the final days of trial, which will hopefully bring ease to questions you may have regarding investor arbitrations.
In today’s world, many people invest their money as a way to increase their income. Some choose to invest on their own, while others use brokers and investment advisors. As with any job, unfortunately in these professions, bad apples do exist. Where wrongdoers exist, they cause harm to their clients and to their clients’ investment accounts. If this happens, clients can sue their broker by filing an arbitration claim within the dispute resolution forum of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) – the only forum for retail investors to sue brokers and brokerage firms. The initial claim papers filed details the party or parties that have wronged you, specifies the relevant facts of the events leading up to and causing the harm in your investment account(s), and lists the remedies requested. When deciding on whether to file an arbitration claim with FINRA, Malecki Law’s FINRA arbitration attorneys can help discuss the merits of your claims and frame them in what is known as a “Statement of Claim,” like a complaint pleading in court.
Once a Statement of Claim arbitration has been filed with FINRA, the party or parties you are suing, also known as the “respondent(s),” have 45 days to file a response, which is called the “Statement of Answer.” The Answer will typically include relevant facts, supporting documents, and defenses from the perspective of the broker or firm you are suing. One can anticipate that in the Answer the respondent(s) will try to discredit your claims. Malecki Law is skilled and very familiar with debunking these typical defenses, as well responding to any creative new tricks. After reading the Answer, you have the opportunity to amend your Statement of Claim if you feel something should be changed from your originally filed claim.