Myth No. 1: I can’t afford to file a securities arbitration — it is just too expensive.
At Jacobson Law P.A., we take most of our cases on a contingency basis. That means that you won’t have to pay us any attorney’s fees unless we win for you. As a result, you will typically only be responsible for forum fees, costs, and expenses. When appropriate, we also offer hourly, flat-fee, and hybrid billing arrangements. In addition, depending on the legal claims asserted and the particular facts of your case, you may be able to recover some or all of your attorney’s fees and expenses from the other side.
Myth No. 2: Individual investors like me don’t stand a chance against deep-pocketed brokerage firms.
We know it can be daunting to try to stand up for your rights when you have been injured through the negligence or wrongdoing of your broker or brokerage firm. It can sometimes feel like you are David facing a corporate Goliath with nothing more than a slingshot. That’s why our mission at Jacobson Law P.A. is to level the playing field in favor of the little guy. Our attorneys have extensive, hands-on experience litigating securities claims throughout the U.S., and we are intimately familiar with the laws and rules that govern investment disputes. Moreover, having cut our teeth at the kind of “Big Law” law firms that the brokerage firms typically hire, we know the claims and defenses their attorneys are likely to assert, and we know how to respond to them. We also have an extensive network of expert witnesses and consultants that we work closely with to provide our clients every possible advantage. As a result, you can be assured that you will have a full and fair opportunity to present your claims, defend your rights, and get the justice you deserve.
Myth No. 3: It will take years before I will ever get to have my day in court.
Compared to court litigation, arbitrations usually involve considerably less discovery and motion practice. For example, interrogatories and deposition are usually not permitted in FINRA arbitrations absent exceptional circumstances. As a result, arbitrations are usually resolved in significantly less time than court cases. Whereas court cases can go on for two or three years or longer, the average FINRA arbitration that goes to a final hearing is over in less than 18 months (cases that are settled are resolved in even less time). Moreover, in court and arbitration, there are rules that permit expedited trials and final hearings in special situations (e.g., elderly or infirm parties, financial duress, etc.).
Myth No. 4: Even if I win, my brokerage firm will tie me up in appeals.
Compared to court litigation, parties in arbitration have very limited options to appeal or contest an arbitration award after the arbitrators make their decision. As a result, once an arbitration panel issues an award, it is usually final — which means you won’t be tied up in appeals. In addition, under FINRA’s rules, brokerage firms are generally required to pay an award within 30 days after it is issued or they risk losing their licenses.
Myth No. 5: If I file a securities arbitration, my private financial information is going to become public.
Unlike court litigation, securities arbitrations are private proceedings. Whereas court pleadings are publicly available, arbitration pleadings are not. Nor are arbitration final hearings open to the public (as opposed to court trials, which usually are). In addition, it is common for parties to enter into confidentiality agreements to ensure that the documents and information exchanged during the arbitration remain private. As a result, what happens in a securities arbitration usually will stay in the securities arbitration.
Myth No. 6: I can handle my securities arbitration myself or I can hire a general commercial litigator represent me in my investment dispute.
To ensure that your rights are fully protected, it is essential that whoever represents you fully understands the intricacies and nuances of the laws, rules, and procedures that could affect your claims and defenses. Investment disputes can often implicate a complex range of federal and state securities laws, as well as a panoply of regulatory rules imposed by an alphabet soup of regulators. To further complicate matters, the relevant securities laws and regulatory rules — and how they are interpreted and applied — can differ widely from state to state. In addition, most investment disputes are governed by an arbitration provision mandating arbitration before FINRA, which has its own specialized set of rules and procedures. The attorneys at Jacobson Law P.A. have extensive, hands-on experience litigating securities claims throughout the U.S., and we are intimately familiar with the laws and rules that govern investment disputes.