How Do I Find a Lawyer for a Securities Litigation or Arbitration?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), "You should consider hiring an attorney to represent you during the arbitration or mediation proceedings to provide direction and advice. Even if you do not choose to hire an attorney, brokerage firms are generally represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, some law schools provide legal representation through securities arbitration clinics."

I agree.  At the very least "consider" hiring a lawyer if you have a securities or brokerage firm, insurance, or similar dispute!

How do you find a suitable lawyer?  For customers and brokerage firm employees, a great place to start is the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA).  PIABA's website includes a "FIND AN ATTORNEY" search tool that allows searches by state or zip code. 

Other options, suggested by FINRA on its website include:

  • Consult with your lawyer, if you have one, about your options and whether you need a lawyer who specializes in securities arbitration or litigation.
  • Call several bar associations to obtain a varied listing of lawyers in your area. Many lawyers will offer to consult with you initially for free or for a minimal fee.
  • Broaden your list of potential securities lawyers by consulting directories of attorneys. The Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory can be found at many libraries or at at its website. It lists lawyers by state and jurisdictions. Some state and local bar associations also compile directories and may list attorneys according to specialty.
Other selective law directories include Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and Avvo.  Attorneys are listed by location and practice area.

For customers with small claims and who are unable to afford a lawyer a number of law schools host securities law clinics.  Many of the law school clinics will only accept claims demanding less than $100,000 for claimants with a household income below $100,000, or where the customer has been unable to find counsel.  It never hurts to ask, however, since clinics offer pro bono (free) representation -- customers who may qualify and have a claim should consider representation through a clinic.  FINRA lists all the law school clinics here.

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