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Robert C. Port

Robert Port’s Answers

11 total


  • What type lawyer handles investment questions regarding personal investments and how they were handled or not handled?

    have 2 annuities which I had thought were regular IRA accounts. I am 62 and was planning on using the $280,000 to live on. But because this entire amount was set up in the annuities and not in various investments I cannot receive the money for a...

    Robert’s Answer

    It would be inappropriate to give you advice on what to do based on these limited facts. Your question does suggest, however, that the annuities may not have been a suitable or appropriate investment or use of your retirement funds. That can only be determined by understanding your entire financial circumstances, as well as the details of the annuity contracts, which can be very detailed and complex. in my experience, the people who sell these products know very little about their actual details, and are principally interested in the commissions they earn on the sale. Further, your remedy for this situation might the dependent on whether the annuities were recently purchased, or purchase some time ago. The type of remedy you might have is also dependent on whether these were sold to you by a stockbroker or insurance agent, as each (and their respective employers) may owe different duties to you depending upon the particular circumstances. You would be well served to contact someone who does securities litigation and arbitration, and has the expertise to evaluate your situation based on its particular facts.

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  • Which specialty would advise me regarding a claim against a major bank's Investment Services?

    I used the investment service of my trusted bank and believe I have a legitimate claim of poor practice by that investment arm. All inquiries to my bank and to regulating agencies have been referred back to the investment service.

    Robert’s Answer

    You need an attorney who has knowledge of both securities law, as well as an understanding of investing and money management. An attorney who knows securities law will be able to determine what legal claims might be viable based on your particular facts, and also have an understanding of the banking/investment industry's practices and procedures, which can be invaluable in determining how best to seek a remedy for you, if you have a viable claim. Further, that same attorney should know about the fundamental theories and approaches to investing and money management, so they can determine whether you have a claim. Many lay people, as well as many attorneys, do not understand those concepts, and therefore either do not recognize a viable legal claim when presented to them, or believe a claim exists when it might not. Keep in mind that the answer to your question depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as any procedural history, and you should consult an attorney authorized to practice in the relevant jurisdiction and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer. My response to your question does not create, and is not intended to create, an attorney-client relationship between us. That is created only by an express agreement that is confirmed in writing by my law firm.

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  • Variable Annuities

    Are Variable Annuities registered with the SEC? If I purchase a variable annuity, will it be requested with the SEC?

    Robert’s Answer

    Yes, because the underlying investments in a variable annuity are securities, they are registered with the SEC, and are regulated by SEC and FINRA rules and regulations. But keep in mind that just because something is registered, it does not mean the SEC has concluded it is a good product or a suitable investment for you (or for anyone else). Registration only means that certain required disclosures about the annuity have been made.

    Keep in mind that the answer to your question may depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the matter about which are are asking, as well as any procedural history, and you should consult an attorney authorized to practice in the relevant jurisdiction and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer. My response to your question does not create, and is not intended to create, an attorney-client relationship between us. That is created only by an express agreement that is confirmed in writing by my law firm.

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  • Do I need a lawyer to file a $10,000 small claims case?

    A guy sold me stock ,unsecured, for a bogus company, and now I can't reach him. I have signed and notarized documents for the deal.

    Robert’s Answer

    You are really asking two separate questions. First, if your question is whether you need a lawyer to appear in court to pursue your claim, that depends on the rules of the jurisdiction that is the proper one to hear the case. Usually, that is where the potential defendant resides or does business, where the transaction took place, or in the jurisdiction set forth in any agreements relating to the transaction. The second question is whether you can do it yourself, without needing to hire a lawyer. There is no way to answer that question without a full review of the facts and applicable law. However, as a practical matter, not many attorneys will take a $10,000 claim, so you might need to pursue this without a lawyer. Keep in mind that any answer to a legal question depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as any procedural history, and you should consult an attorney and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer to this question.

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  • Gwinnett County GA. Can a Magistrate Judge sitting in place of the Superior Court Judge rule on a motion for summary judgment?

    Case is docketed in Superior Court, but the day of motion for summary judgment hearing a Magistrate Judge was presiding in place of the Superior Court Judge.

    Robert’s Answer

    Yes, a Magistrate Judge can be designated by the Superior Court Judge to hear a Summary Judgment Motion.

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  • Can a custodial firm be held liable for losses by an investment firm?

    I as defrauded by an investment group out of Florida. The principles were prosecuted and are now in jail. Only a third of the monies were recovered and distributed to the hundreds of clients who were impacted by their actions. A company out of Kan...

    Robert’s Answer

    There are lots of issues your question raises, including whether any claims you might have might be barred by applicable Statutes of Limitations. I am presuming this happened a number of years ago, because a prosecution leading to jail sentences, and whatever actions were taken to secure the 1/3 recovery, often take some time. In addition, to more fully and properly answer your question, it is necessary to know what duties the custodian was performing. I suspect it unlikely that they had either a contractual or legal duty to "validate" the financial statements of the investment firm, but there might have been other "red flags" apparent in the custodian's dealings with the firm that would have put them on notice that something was amiss, and hence create a duty on the custodian's part inquire or investigate. There are various banking and anti-money laundering laws and regulations that impose a duty on financial institutions to be aware of "red-flags" that might be indicative of fraud or misconduct. As for the proper place to bring an action, if you lived in Colorado at the time, and they presented/promoted the investment to you in that state, Colorado may be the proper venue. But again, a thorough analysis of all relevant facts would be necessary to provide a thoughtful opinion on proper jurisdiction and venue for any such action. Finally, since you stated that hundreds of people were defrauded, you may have a situation where a claim could be brought on behalf of a large group of investors, who like you, are not satisfied with the 1/3 recovery you have already received.

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  • Can I sue my broker for selling me risky stocks?

    My broker recommended few stocks for my retirement account which proceeded to lose 20% - 30%. When I told an investor friend of mine, he told me the stocks that were recommended to me were high beta stocks (what ever that means) that should not ...

    Robert’s Answer

    Whether you have a claim depends on an evaluation of your needs, risk profile, investment experience, net worth, and other personal and financial circumstances that the broker knew or should have known. The fact that one or more investments in a portfolio lost money does not, standing alone, give you a claim. All investments recommended by the broker need to have been "suitable" at the time recommended (in light of the types of facts and circumstances just mentioned), and I would further argue that the broker has a continuing duty to review and monitor the entirely of the portfolio he or she manages for you to assure it remains suitable as time passes and your personal circumstances and the financial landscape change. If you have a claim, you are likely required to have it arbitrated before FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Keep in mind that any answer to a legal question depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as any procedural history, and you should consult with an attorney familiar with securities claims, and pursuing claims in FINRA arbitration, and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer to this question.

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  • I put $100k into an investment - after 9 months he admitted he lost the money. Is a demand letter necessary b/f filing fraud?

    He originally paid me back the principle on a separate $50k investment - swearing on his mother's grave that it had paid off and I'd get my profit soon. Then after 3 months of lying and stalling he admitted he got involved in a scam and lost ever...

    Robert’s Answer

    Generally, you do not have to write a demand letter before pursuing civil or criminal charges. In fact, given that this has been going on for 2 years, I'd be a little concerned that you might be bumping up against a statute of limitations problem. Each state has its own statutes of limitations for various civil and criminal claims (and federal law, if applicable, also has its own statutes of limitation), so you need to consult with an attorney or the DA as soon as possible to evaluate your rights, including whether a demand letter is appropriate. While a demand letter is often a waste of time and money, there are circumstances where it makes sense to write one, particularly one coming from an attorney. Keep in mind that any answer to a legal question depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as any procedural history, and you should consult an attorney and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer to this question.

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  • This has to do with professional negligence.

    My financial adviser was told by me to sell a Reit that I own for a tender offer of $11 a share. This had to be done by a certain date. He forgot or overlooked doing this, but sold it after the drop dead date for a substantial loss difference. Is ...

    Robert’s Answer

    If in fact your advisor failed to follow your explicit directions to execute a trade, he/she may be liable for the damages caused. My first question to you would be whether your instructions were clear and had no ambiguity. Additionally, unless there is some contemporaneous record of your instructions (such as a recording, a fax or other written document), this may become what lawyers call a "swearing contest": you will swear you told the advisor to sell by a certain date, and he/she will deny that you gave any such instructions. You should also consider whether, even if the advisor admits you gave the direction, there were any other factors that might have prevented the sale, such as your meeting certain preconditions for selling, documents that had to be executed prior to the sale, etc. The provable facts and circumstances will reveal whether you might have a viable claim. You should have an attorney familiar with securities arbitration/litigation look at the matter. Keep in mind that any answer to a legal question depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, as well as any procedural history, and you should consult an attorney and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer to this question.

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  • My broker lost money on unauthorized trades

    My broker (actually an RIA) manages two accounts for me. He has one account with discretionary abilities and one without. I just realized he's been trading out of both accounts sustaining losses in both. Do I have any recourse against the speci...

    Robert’s Answer

    Whether you have recourse will depend on a number of factors, including your age, your investment objectives, your risk tolerance, your other financial assets, and other factors that where known or should have been known by the RIA. The fact that you have lost money is not, by itself, and indication that you have a legal claim. Generally, the question of whether you have sustained damages and have a legal claim is assessed by comparing how a properly managed portfolio for someone in your circumstances would have performed to your actual account performance. If you are correct that you are dealing with an RIA, they have a fiduciary duty to you, a high legal standard. That may give rise to other potential claims, such as trading that was not based solely on your best interests, but that benefited the RIA, such as commissions or bonuses. You may indeed have a claim agasint both the RIA individually and against the firm, based upon the facts and circumstances of the firm's supervision of the RIA. To assess your potential claim, you need an attorney well versed in the legal claims that investors may have against their brokers/advisors, and who understands how to analyze whether you have a legally recognizable claim for damages. Keep in mind that any answer to a legal question depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, and you should consult an attorney and provide them all relevant facts, information, and documents to secure a fully informed answer to this question.

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