The term “securities lawyer” refers to an attorney who concentrates his/her practice on assisting clients in navigating the laws and regulations that govern the purchase and sale of securities.
If you’re having difficulties with your financial advisor or broker and suffered investment losses, you might want to hire a securities lawyer who knows the securities laws and securities industry rules inside and out.
What Does a Securities Lawyer Do?
A securities lawyer specializes in securities laws and regulations that apply to investors, brokers, and financial advisors. Securities lawyers represent investors claiming losses as a result of misconduct or fraud, as well as brokers and financial advisors accused of misconduct by their clients or their employers.Investment Losses? Let’s talk.
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Brokers and advisors provide investment advice and sell securities products such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. When you work with an advisor or broker, you probably signed an agreement that required them to comply with Federal and state securities laws and securities industry rules, including the rules requiring an advisor or broker to only make suitable investment recommendations and to act in your best interest.
IMPORTANT: If your financial professional isn’t doing what was agreed to, or if you think they’ve committed securities fraud, you can file a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). But before you do, you might want to talk to a securities lawyer.
You have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible if you were an investor who lost money as a result of broker misconduct.
What Are Securities Laws?
Securities laws are the laws that regulate the securities industry. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is the government agency that oversees the securities industry and enforces the Federal securities laws.
These rules are designed to protect investors from fraud and other abuses, and to ensure that the securities industry operates fairly and transparently.
Federal law requires companies that sell securities to register with the SEC. This registration process provides important information about a company’s business, its financial condition, and its management.
It also gives the SEC important information about the people who sell the company’s securities. The federal securities laws also require those who sell securities to be licensed and to meet other standards of conduct.
Investors and brokers use this information to make informed investment decisions. When brokers don’t disclose important information, or make false or misleading statements, they may have committed securities fraud.
In comparison to other areas of the law in the United States, there are few securities lawyers. Most lawyers who practice in this area work for the government, regulating or prosecuting firms and individuals who have violated securities law.
It’s Important To Find A Good Securities Lawyer Who Represents Investors!
There are a few lawyers who represent investors in private lawsuits and arbitrations against firms or individuals who have committed fraud and violated other securities laws. In order to sue someone for securities fraud, you must be able to prove that they made false or misleading statements, and that you relied on those statements to your detriment.
Proving fraud can be difficult, and you should talk to a securities lawyer before you decide whether to sue.
If you are an investor who suffered losses due to broker misconduct, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the parties responsible. Broker misconduct exists in multiple forms, including:
- Breach of fiduciary duty;
- Failure to disclose a conflict of interest;
- Churning, also known as excessive trading;
- Lack of diversification;
- Failure to adequately supervise;
- Omission of material facts;
- Unsuitable investment recommendations;
- Unauthorized trading; and
- Misappropriating client funds.
While some forms of broker misconduct are easy to recognize, others are not. A financial advisor who stole funds out of your account and transferred them to a personal account clearly misappropriated your funds and committed misconduct. It’s more difficult to prove that a financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments, however, because the suitability of an investment depends on a number of different factors.
If you suffered investment losses and believe it was a result of broker misconduct, contact a good securities fraud lawyer today to evaluate your case.
Securities Laws are Complex and Numerous
The laws that govern the securities industry are complex and numerous. This is partially due to the fact that the securities industry is complex and ever-changing.
As new technologies and products are developed, they must be regulated. And as the markets change and evolve, the rules must change with them.
This complexity can make it difficult for investors to understand their rights and what they should do if they think their broker has committed securities fraud.
Below are just a few of the securities laws that may be relevant to your case:
The Securities Act of 1933
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
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.
Trust Indenture Act of 1939
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.
Investment Company Act of 1940
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.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
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.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010
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.
Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012
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.
Blue Sky Laws
In addition to federal securities law, each state has its own securities law, known as a “blue sky law.”
Blue sky laws generally require companies that sell securities to register with the state before they can offer or sell securities in the state. They also generally require brokers and dealers who trade securities to be licensed and to meet other standards of conduct.
Uniform Securities Act
The Uniform Securities Act is a model securities law that was developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
The Uniform Securities Act is designed to provide a uniform set of rules for the sale of securities across all states. It has been adopted by a number of states, but it is not currently in effect in any state.
How a Securities Attorney Can Assist Investors in Recovering Losses
If you have lost money as a result of your broker’s or other financial advisor’s wrongdoings, you are entitled to seek financial compensation for the full amount of your losses. Typically, to recover losses suffered as a result of securities fraud, an investor must file a lawsuit and prove that the defendant’s actions caused the loss.
In unusual cases, these securities claims are handled in a traditional courtroom. However, often these disputes with registered brokerage firm’s and registered stockbrokers are resolved through FINRA arbitration.
The FINRA Arbitration Process
FINRA is a self-governing regulatory agency charged with ensuring its members comply with the ethical rules of the financial industry and investigating investor complaints alleging misconduct and fraud. FINRA can impose fines and restrictions on brokers when necessary.
Many investment contracts between brokers and investors include an arbitration provision that requires investors to file claims with FINRA.
The FINRA arbitration process involves several steps, including:
- Filing a statement of claim;
- Selecting arbitrators;
- Participating in pre-hearing conferences and discovery; and
- Attending the arbitration hearing.
If your case is going before a FINRA arbitration panel, you are going to need an experienced securities arbitration lawyer on your side.
Robert Pearce has represented hundreds of clients in the FINRA arbitration process. He is committed to obtaining the best results for his client in every case.
Do You Need to Hire a Securities Lawyer “Near Me”?
Securities legal disputes are handled on a federal level, so it is not necessary to find a lawyer in your state. However, you should choose a securities attorney that is familiar with the relevant securities laws and has experience litigating securities cases.
For the best chance at a successful outcome, you should hire a securities lawyer who is knowledgeable with laws and regulations as set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC), Blue Sky Laws (state securities regulations), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Since you can hire a securities attorney from any state, it is important to choose one that you feel comfortable working with, who has a good reputation, and a past history of success with securities cases.
What Can a Securities Lawyer Do for Me?
A securities lawyer is an attorney who focuses their legal practice on the often complex and ever-changing securities laws and regulations. These attorneys can provide investors with legal representation involving investment losses from fraud, misrepresentation, or other securities-related disputes.
They can also help investors navigate the securities regulatory process, file SEC complaints, and take legal action against brokerage firms or individual brokers.
Note: If you have lost money investing in securities and you believe you have a claim, it is important that you act quickly. There are time limits (statutes of limitations) for taking legal action. 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.
What to Expect with Securities Attorney Fees
If you are an investor who has been the victim of securities fraud or a broker looking for legal representation, you may be wondering how much a securities lawyer will cost. The answer depends on the facts of your case.
An initial consultation with a securities lawyer is typically free. During this consultation, the lawyer will review your case and give you an estimate of the legal fees. If you decide to move forward with the case, you will typically be asked to sign a contingency fee agreement.
A contingency fee agreement means that you will only have to pay the lawyer if he or she is successful in recovering money on your behalf. If the lawyer is not successful, you will not owe any legal fees.
At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. We also work on a contingency fee basis, so you will only have to pay us if we are successful in recovering money for you.
Contact us today at (561) 338-0037 for your free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and legal options moving forward.
Do You Believe You Were a Victim of Securities Fraud?
If you believe that you were a victim of securities fraud, contact a securities fraud lawyer immediately. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have experience representing investors in all types of securities fraud cases. We will review your case for free and let you know whether we can help.
Securities law is a complex and specialized area of law. While it may be tempting to try to represent yourself in a securities fraud case, doing so can be risky. A securities lawyer will be able to navigate the complex legal landscape and give you the best chance of recovering your investment losses.
Need A Securities Lawyer’s Help?
If you have further questions related to securities law, contact The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation. Our securities lawyers represent investors, broker-dealers, and financial professionals in all types of securities-related disputes.