The California securities and investment fraud attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., can help you navigate the complexities of securities law and protect your interests. Are you an investor? We can help.

As an investor, you’ve placed your trust in the hands of your stockbroker or financial advisor. But what happens when that trust is broken?

If you believe that your stockbroker or financial advisor has violated your trust and caused you financial harm, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

The securities attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have experience representing CA-based investors in securities arbitration and litigation cases.

Our attorneys can help you understand your legal options and fight to recover any losses you may have suffered. Don’t let a breach of trust go unchecked – contact The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help protect your interests.

Sign You May Be a Victim of Investment Fraud

The best way to determine if you are a victim of securities or investment fraud is to speak with a lawyer experienced experienced in these matters.

However, there are some common signs that may indicate you have been defrauded:

  • Your broker-dealer, financial advisor or investment professional reports results that make little sense or seem to consistently miss projected targets.
  • Your broker-dealer, financial advisor or investment professional fails to disclose relevant information about an investment.
  • You notice unexplained losses in your account or transactions that you do not recognize.
  • Your broker-dealer, financial advisor or investment professional recommends investments that are unsuitable for your needs.
  • You have incurred a tax liability from an investment which appears to have dropped in value.
  • You notice a steep drop in the value of investments in a short period of time.
  • Your investment continues to drop in value despite the general market trend.

Remember, every investment carries with it an inherent risk of loss. A vast majority of investment losses are rather due to poor investments than fraudulent activities.

However, if you have begun to suspect that you have been the victim of securities fraud, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced securities lawyer with an understanding of securities law in California.

Why Hire Us?

The investment fraud attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. have been helping investors for over 40 years, and we team up with California legal counsel to give you the best representation possible.

Since 1980, we’ve helped recover over $175 million on behalf of our clients and have a proven track record of success in complex securities litigation.

Our securities lawyers are among the most experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys nationwide.

Often when an investor has lost a significant amount as a result of stockbroker misconduct or investment fraud, the investor may be able to recover funds through FINRA arbitration. Our securities lawyers will assist you in understanding your rights and how best to pursue any claim that you may have against your broker or brokerage firm.

If you have suffered investment losses, we can help.

Contact us today at (800) 732-2889 or fill out one of our short contact forms.

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What Can a We Do for California Investors?

A securities attorney that handles securities cases in California can help you determine whether your broker or brokerage firm has committed fraud, negligence, or breached their fiduciary duty.

If they have, our lawyers can provide legal advice and representation when filing a claim with FINRA arbitration to seek compensation for the losses you’ve suffered.

Securities law is a complex and intricate area of law.

While it is possible for investors to pursue a FINRA arbitration claim without legal representation, it’s strongly recommended that you enlist the help of an experienced attorney who has knowledge of securities law and filing procedures. Doing so will give you the best chance of achieving success in your case.

FINRA even recommends that investors seek the advice of a qualified securities attorney when filing a claim.

You can contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the facts of your case and whether you may be entitled to recover your losses.

Relevant California Securities Law & Agencies that Protect Investors like You

As an investor in California, you are protected by both federal and state securities laws that are designed to prevent fraud, misuse of funds, and other unethical activity. State securities laws are referred to as Blue Sky Laws.

Some of the securities laws that may be relevant to your situation include:

California Securities Act

On January 2, 1968, the California Securities Act became law, requiring all sales of securities to be registered with the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), previously called the Department of Business Oversight.

You can learn more about the California Securities Act and its regulations by visiting the DFPI website.

State of California Department of Justice: Office of the Attorney General

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing criminal laws and prosecuting those who violate securities laws.

California Code – Section 25400

Section 25400 of the California Code is a law that specifically makes it illegal for any person or corporation to engage in certain activities related to securities fraud.

The law states that any person who knowingly and willfully offers, sells, purchases or negotiates any security, knowing that it was not registered with the DFPI, may be held criminally liable and prosecuted for securities fraud.


Often called the “truth in securities” law, the Securities Act of 1933 has two main objectives:

  • To require that companies disclose important information about their securities before they sell them; and
  • To prevent fraud in the sale of securities.

You can read more about the Securities Act of 1933 here.


The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is often called the “most important securities law in the United States.” It created the SEC and gave it broad authority to regulate the securities industry.

Among other things, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires companies that sell securities to the public to disclose important information about their business, financial condition, and management.

It also requires brokers and dealers who trade securities to be licensed and to meet other standards of conduct.

You can read more about the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 here.


The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 is a federal law that regulates the sale of municipal securities. Municipal securities are debt obligations issued by states, cities, and other government entities.

The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 requires state and local governments to disclose important information about their finances before they sell municipal securities. It also prohibits them from selling municipal securities unless they comply with certain conditions.

You can read more about the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 here.


The Investment Company Act of 1940 is a federal law that regulates mutual funds and other investment companies.

The Investment Company Act of 1940 requires investment companies to disclose important information about their finances and investment strategies. It also prohibits them from engaging in certain activities, such as investing in securities that are not registered with the SEC.

You can read more about the Investment Company Act of 1940 here.


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a federal law that was passed in response to the accounting scandals at Enron and other companies.

Among other things, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires public companies to disclose important information about their finances and management. It also imposes significant penalties for corporate fraud.

You can read more about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 here.


The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 is a federal law that was passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008.

Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 establishes new rules for the securities industry. It also creates a new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to protect consumers from financial fraud.

You can read more about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 here.


The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 is a federal law that was passed to make it easier for small businesses to raise capital.

Among other things, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 loosens the regulations governing the sale of securities. It also creates a new type of investment vehicle, the crowdfunded security, which allows small businesses to raise money from individual investors.

You can read more about the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 here.

What are Some Important Questions to Ask an Investment Fraud Lawyer?

For investors looking to hire the best securities lawyer, there are many important questions to consider. These include:

  1. What is your experience in securities law, and do you have any specific expertise in the area that is relevant to my case?
  2. What is your approach to handling securities law cases?
  3. Have you worked on any cases that are similar to mine? If so, what was the outcome?
  4. How much do you charge for your services, and what is included in your fee structure?
  5. How do you communicate with your clients, and how often can I expect to hear from you about the progress of my case?
  6. Do you have any references from past clients who were satisfied with your work?
  7. What is your availability for taking on new cases?
  8. Can you provide an estimate of the time and resources that may be required to resolve my case?
  9. What are the potential risks and challenges of pursuing my case, and how do you plan to address them?
  10. What are my options for resolving my case, and what do you recommend as the best course of action?

Remember, the right securities lawyer can make all the difference in achieving a successful outcome for your case. It’s important to ask the right questions and carefully assess any potential legal representation before making a decision.

When Should You Hire a Securities Lawyer?

It is not the government’s job to reimburse investors who have been defrauded or misled by brokers or other financial advisors. It is up to the investor to seek legal advice and guidance when they feel their rights have been violated.

If you’ve lost a significant amount of money due to fraudulent or deceptive practices regarding the sale of securities, it is important to contact a securities lawyer who can handle your California case as soon as possible.

A securities lawyer can provide legal advice and guidance on how to recover your losses and seek justice against those responsible for the fraud.

In addition, if you’ve lost money due to the actions of a broker-dealer, a securities lawyer can help you file a claim for compensation with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

california securities attorney
Robert Wayne Pearce & Adam Kara-Lopez, Attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, PA

We Have a History of Success

The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has an impressive track record of success in representing and helping clients in securities disputes throughout Florida and beyond.

Our firm is highly regarded by both legal professionals and investors alike for our knowledge, experience, and commitment to obtaining the best possible results for our clients.

Some of our past successes include:


Case No. 1:10-cv-21444-KMM

College Health and Investment, Ltd. v Esther Spero

This Final Judgment was entered against the defendant for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and civil theft pursuant to Sections 812.014 and 772.11, Florida statutes in 2010.


Case No. 14-001695-CI

State of Florida, Office of Financial Regulation v. Tri-Med Corp., et al.

Mr. Pearce represented the investors as co-counsel with the Receiver in a class action against the accounting and legal professionals for allegedly aiding and abetting a Ponzi scheme. After removal from state to Federal court and several years of litigation, the lawsuit was resolved in 2017 through mediation and the payment of more than $4.3 million to the receivership for the investors benefit by the law and accounting firms.


This $3.5 million settlement was in a state court action filed by Mr. Pearce on behalf of a trust for an elderly widow was against one of the largest corporate trustees in the country. The corporate trustee allegedly failed to diversify a concentrated portfolio in a single stock during the 2008-2009 financial market meltdown. The case was settled in 2010 for substantially all of the widow’s losses she was entitled within the short six-month statutory window for bringing a claim against trustees and Florida.


Case No. 90-01044

Jack Friedlander, et al. v. Margaretten Securities

This arbitration involved misrepresentations and unsuitable recommendations that Claimants invest in complex structured products consisting of stripped coupon mortgage-backed securities and pass through certificates. The Claimants were awarded punitive damages and attorney fees and expenses.


Case No. 10-03554

College Health and Investment, Ltd. v Wells Fargo Advisors LLC

This FINRA Arbitration by College Health against Wells Fargo Advisors followed a Federal court proceeding for aiding and abetting the defendant in that case in the theft of funds from the family holding company’s brokerage account at the firm.


In this Probate court matter, Attorney Pearce represented several family members in a lawsuit against legal and financial professionals and others for their undue influence over an elderly person in conveying his investments and other assets prior to his death. The suit was settled during a mediation in 2007 for $1.9 million.


Case No. 09-02697

Gerald J. Kazma, et al. v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., et al.

The Kazma Family filed an arbitration claim against Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. for losses arising out of a complex municipal arbitrage structured products commonly known as the MAT/ASTA products which were allegedly misrepresented and mismanaged during the 2008 municipal bond financial crisis. Mr. Pearce represented scores of investors in connection with the failed MAT/ASTA structured product debacle.

Can I Recover my Investment Losses?

In order to recover your investment losses, you are going to need an experienced attorney to help you prove that your broker-dealer or financial advisor violated the law and caused you damages. Depending upon the facts and circumstances, there are many different statutory and common law claims. You will need a skilled attorney to avoid missteps that could ruin your chance of success.

In most cases, this means filing a FINRA arbitration claim against the broker-dealer and/or representative.

The majority of securities fraud cases are handled by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) rather than being brought to the court system.

FINRA arbitration is a streamlined, cost-effective way to resolve disputes between investors and their brokers without going to court – it also allows you to collect punitive damages, which are not available in civil court.

Speak with a local California Investment Fraud Lawyer Today

The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., is a law firm specializing in representing defrauded investors recover. California investment fraud lawyer Robert Wayne Pearce specializes in getting individuals their money back from bad investments using any and all available methods.

If you are an investor who has recently dealt with investment loss due to potential securities or investment fraud, we want to help.

If you have questions about how to move forward, contact our team online or by phone at 561-338-0037 for a free confidential consultation with a local Golden State-based securities lawyer. We will fight aggressively for your financial recovery and for justice