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Archive for December, 2018

FINRA will Seek to Ban Compensated Non-Attorney Representatives from Arbitrationsby Andrew Whiteman

Whiteman Law Firm supports action by FINRA to ban compensated non-attorney representatives (“NARs”) from representing parties in securities arbitrations.

FINRA’s Board of Governors met on December 12 and 13 for its fourth quarter meeting. The Board approved filing with the SEC proposed amendments to the codes of arbitration and mediation procedure to prohibit compensated NARs from practicing in the FINRA arbitration and mediation forums. See FINRA’s press release dated December 21, 2018, for a full report.

This change was supported by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (“PIABA”), a membership organization of attorneys who represent investors in securities arbitrations. See PIABA’s statement in support of the proposed rule change to ban compensated NARs.

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The lawyers at Whiteman Law Firm have been representing investors in securities claims for over 30 years. We represent individuals and businesses who have suffered financial losses due to fraudulent investment schemes sold by unscrupulous or inept investment promoters, stockbrokers, investment advisors or insurance salesmen. If you have suffered losses due to the misconduct of an investment professional, you need competent attorney representation to help you recover your losses. Whiteman Law Firm assists investors to recover losses through litigation and arbitration. Our attorneys represent investors in all types of securities disputes. We handle everything from complex federal and state court litigation to individual customer arbitrations. We can review the facts of your case on a confidential, no-cost basis, and advise you on your options for recovering your investment losses.

Please contact us for more information.

 

 

 

A Third of FINRA Arbitration Awards Go Unpaidby Andrew Whiteman

A third of FINRA arbitration awards are unpaid.

Richard W. Berry, FINRA Executive Vice President of Dispute Resolution, recently provided a statement to the SEC Investment Advisory Committee on customer recovery in FINRA arbitration cases. According to Mr. Berry, “about a third” of cases in which FINRA arbitrators award damages to customers result in unpaid awards. Unpaid awards represent only about 2% of the 13,000 customer arbitrations closed between 2012 and 2016. The vast majority of cases are closed by settlement, not by a decision by the arbitrators. However, the fact that a third of arbitration awards go unpaid is significant and disturbing.

Investors should be aware that most broker-dealers do not carry insurance for the types of claims typically brought in FINRA arbitration cases. To make matters worse, the regulatory capital required to conduct business as a FINRA broker-dealer is surprisingly low. The continued existence of a thinly-capitalized firm may be jeopardized if the firm experiences a number of customer claims within a short period of time.

Mr. Berry’s statement indicates that FINRA will consider advocating for rulemaking by the SEC to maintain additional capital.

Until that happens, investors are encouraged to investigate the financial position of a broker-dealer before doing business with that firm. A broker-dealer’s annual financial statements are required to be submitted to the SEC on Form X-17A-5 and are available to the public through the SEC’s Edgar Company Filings database.

Mr. Berry’s entire statement may be accessed here.

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The lawyers at Whiteman Law Firm have been representing investors in securities claims for over 30 years. We represent individuals and businesses who have suffered financial losses due to fraudulent investment schemes sold by unscrupulous or inept investment promoters, stockbrokers, investment advisors or insurance salesmen. If you have suffered losses due to the misconduct of an investment professional, you need competent attorney representation to help you recover your losses. Whiteman Law Firm assists investors to recover losses through litigation and arbitration. Our attorneys represent investors in all types of securities disputes. We handle everything from complex federal and state court litigation to individual customer arbitrations. We can review the facts of your case on a confidential, no-cost basis, and advise you on your options for recovering your investment losses.

Please contact us for more information.

 

 

 

 

It’s time to have a serious conversation with your financial advisor.by Andrew Whiteman

The bull market that began in mid-2009 may be over. According to a Bloomberg article posted earlier today, the stock markets closed at a 14-month low as a result of continued uncertainty over economic conditions, possible interest rate increases, and international trade policy. The S&P 500 is down nearly 5% this year. The current market volatility is usually indicative of an impending decline. Investors should check their holdings and talk to their financial advisors about whether changes in their portfolios are warranted.  According to Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, investors should prepare for the worst.

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The lawyers at Whiteman Law Firm have been representing investors in securities claims for over 30 years. We represent individuals and businesses who have suffered financial losses due to fraudulent investment schemes sold by unscrupulous or inept investment promoters, stockbrokers, investment advisors or insurance salesmen. If you have suffered losses due to the misconduct of an investment professional, you need competent attorney representation to help you recover your losses. Whiteman Law Firm assists investors to recover losses through litigation and arbitration. Our attorneys represent investors in all types of securities disputes. We handle everything from complex federal and state court litigation to individual customer arbitrations. We can review the facts of your case on a confidential, no-cost basis, and advise you on your options for recovering your investment losses.

Please contact us for more information.

 

Andrew Whiteman participates in public meeting on GenX contamination of Cape Fear Riverby Andrew Whiteman

On December 4, 2018, Andrew Whiteman participated in a public meeting held at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the status of the latest scientific research into the toxicity of chemicals found in in the Cape Fear River, the recent regulatory settlement between the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Chemours, and the ongoing litigation brought by class action plaintiffs and water utilities against DuPont and Chemours. Presentations were made by Larry Cahoon, a University of North Carolina at Wilmington biology professor, and Ted Leopold, an attorney with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, co-lead counsel for the class. Introductory remarks were provided by Andy McGlinn of the Cape Fear Sierra Club.

See the StarNews report of the meeting.

Whiteman Law Firm, along with several other firms, is representing plaintiffs in class action lawsuits against DuPont and Chemours for environmental contamination of the air and water in southeastern North Carolina. In these lawsuits, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants discharged toxic chemicals from their chemical production facility near Fayetteville, North Carolina into the surrounding air and water. The plant produces chemicals that are used to make non-stick coatings for cookware and other consumer products. Plaintiffs alleged that DuPont and Chemours knew that this family of chemicals is dangerous, but nevertheless dumped these chemicals into the air and water to avoid the expense of taking appropriate safety precautions while misleading regulators about the nature of their discharges.

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