What types of cases do you handle for investors?

Well, for investors it could be any number of things. It could be the sale of unsuitable investments. The investor was looking for something that was more safe and secure, or something for retirement, and what they got was actually something that was very high risk. That would be one type of case. Another type of case would be a churning case. Churning means that the broker was trading the account with the intent of making money for himself through commissions, and without regard for the customer’s best interest. So those are the type of cases that we would typically see and pursue in a securities arbitration.

Do you only represent clients who reside in Minnesota?

I’m only licensed to practice law in Minnesota. But the interesting thing about arbitration is, in some states, I can represent investors in that state even though I’m not part of the [state] bar. What I suggest to people is, go ahead and contact me if you have an issue that you want to discuss. The first thing I’m going to ask is, “Where are you?” And I’m going to figure out, under the rules of that jurisdiction, can I represent you? If I can, obviously, I’ll go forward and do what I can to help them with their case. If I can’t, I know a lot of attorneys who do this kind of work across the country and I’m always happy to refer those customers to somebody who I know can help them.

Are there ever occasions when you represent stockbrokers or investment advisors?

Yes, there are. I used to represent an even number of investment firms and brokers [on the one hand] and customers on the other hand. Now, I’m only representing customers. I will represent individual stockbrokers and investment advisors in disputes with their own investment firms. For example, sometimes if brokers are terminated improperly, they may be defamed by their investment firm. I will represent brokers and advisors in those situations against their employers. Now, I’m not going to represent individual advisors and brokers in disputes with their customers because I’m squarely on the side of customers.

Suing Brokers/Advisors and Investment Firms