Brokerage and investment advisory firms almost always incorporate into their account agreements mandatory arbitration provisions providing that the client must resolve all disputes with the company through arbitration. Consequently, individual investors may be limited to an arbitration forum when seeking to recover under securities claims. Attorneys handling securities cases must therefore be familiar with the intricacies of the arbitration process, whether it be through FINRA, JAMS, AAA or some other arbitration forum. The attorneys of Cosgrove Law Group, LLC are well-versed in the arbitration process and regularly represent investors in arbitral forums. We have also been successful challenging the enforceability of certain arbitration provisions.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A “fiduciary” is defined as one who has a legal duty to act in the best interest of another. A “fiduciary duty” is an affirmative duty of utmost good faith, trust, confidence and candor that compels the fiduciary to place the client’s interest before his or her own interest. Fiduciaries must not put themselves in a position where their personal interests and their fiduciary duties may conflict. Each jurisdiction contains its own laws setting forth who are considered fiduciaries and the duties of those fiduciaries. Trustees, stockbrokers and other financial advisers are fiduciaries by law. These professionals therefore have a duty to put your financial interests above their own.
The effects of a breach of fiduciary duty are oftentimes widespread and very damaging to the victim. Accordingly, a breach of fiduciary duty is a serious matter with potentially harsh consequences. Cosgrove Law Group, LLC regularly represents clients in breach of fiduciary claims. Please contact one of our attorneys if you believe a breach of fiduciary duty has negatively impacted your financial situation.
When making an investment recommendation to a particular client, a broker or other financial adviser has a duty to know the client and to recommend an investment strategy that is suitable given that particular client’s circumstances. The investment recommendation must be consistent with the client’s risk tolerance, prior investment experience and appetite for risk, and the level of return desired. An investment may be unsuitable for a multitude of reasons, including if a client does not have the financial means to incur the potential loss associated with the risk inherent to the investment, if the investment is not consistent with or does not address the client’s financial needs, or if the client was not properly informed of the risks associated with the recommended investment. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in representing clients in unsuitability claims. We always put forth our best efforts to achieve the greatest possible results for our clients.
Failure to Supervise
Every brokerage firm has a duty to design and implement written procedures to effectively supervise every broker licensed through that firm. Accordingly, when a broker engages in wrongdoing that causes a client to incur financial losses, the supervising firm may also be subject to liability for allowing the wrongful conduct to occur. The attorneys of Cosgrove Law Group, LLC have a thorough understanding of the regulations governing brokerage firms’ duty to supervise and know when it is in a client’s best interest to either bring or defend such a claim.
A broker engages in churning when he or she buys and sells securities in an account in a self-serving attempt to generate larger commissions. Brokers who churn their clients’ accounts generally offer seemingly valid excuses as to why the clients should pursue quick profits. In reality, these purported recommendations are merely excuses for the broker to charge excess commission fees. The attorneys at Cosgrove Law Group, LLC have years of experience in the securities industry, which allows them to quickly discern whether a broker has engaged in churning in a client’s account. If you believe you are a victim or supervisor who suspects churning, please contact one of our experienced attorneys.
Misrepresentations and Omissions
Financial advisers and brokers have a duty to fairly disclose all of the risks associated with the investments they recommend to their clients. Sometimes, financial advisers or brokers may misrepresent or omit material facts unintentionally to disguise the risks associated with a particular investment. If an investor loses money on his or her investment after being deprived of the true risks associated with that investment, the financial adviser or broker can be held liable for the investor’s losses. Cosgrove Law Group, LLC aggressively represents clients who have suffered heartbreaking financial losses as a result of misrepresentations or omissions by their broker or financial adviser.
Annuity fraud takes place when the selling agent misrepresents facts when soliciting the purchase of an annuity or fails to properly disclose important facts about the investment. If the selling agent’s wrongful conduct amounts to fraud, the law permits the investor to cancel the purchase and receive back all of the money that he or she invested. Under certain circumstances, additional damages may be awarded. David B. Cosgrove has published articles regarding annuity issues and has successfully represented both investors and brokers in annuity-related litigation. Contact one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys if you believe you have been the victim of or accused of annuity fraud.