As a former SEC lawyer and current FINRA arbitrator, Mr. Stephens’ legal practice forcuses on representing clients in binding securities arbitration before FINRA seeking to recover damages (compensatory and punitive) caused by improper stockbroker or adviser conduct, such as negligence, fraud, broken promises, excessive trading, unauthorized trades, or unsuitable investments.
Mr. Stephens, who has been interviewed by CNBC and "MONEY" magazine, is a former Attorney-Adviser with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in both the Enforcement and Investment Management Divisions, and currently serves on the "Chairman" arbitrator roster of FINRA, having served as an arbitrator in customer cases for over 15 years.
Some notable Awards achieved by Mr. Stephens are highlighted by articles in the Wall Street Journal, such as Warren v. Morgan Stanley ($1,500,000 compensatory, $3,500,000 punitives), Saccheri v. A.G. Edwards ($750,000 compensatory, $2,250,000 punitives), and Boll v. Merrill Lynch ($625,000 compensatory, $938,000 punitives). Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.
Additional Client References at Stocklawyer.com http://stocklawyer.com/clientreferences.html
With offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Los Angeles, California, in a USA multi-jurisdictional practice, Mr. Stephens has handled FINRA. arbitration hearings for clients in such diverse locations as Anchorage, Seattle, San Francisco, Louisville, and Washington, D.C., and represented clients in many more parts of the United States and abroad.
Originally from New York, Mr. Stephens graduated from the University of Michigan with “High Distinction” and Phi Beta Kappa honors with a major in Economics. During college breaks, he was employed in New York on Wall Street" by Lazard Freres & Co., the international investment banking firm.
Subsequent to college, he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Cornell University and practiced law in New York City on Park Avenue with Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, primarily business litigation.
Accepting the invitation for a Fellowship with the Center for Study of Financial Institutions and Securities Markets, at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Stephens performed research on intricate legal questions under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and published several legal articles in law reviews. Following the Fellowship, which included finance course work at the Wharton School, Mr. Stephens was awarded an LL.M. (Master of Laws) post-doctorate degree in Securities Regulation from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Mr. Stephens then accepted a position as Attorney-Advisor with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., initially with the Division of Investment Management, regulating investment advisors under the Investment Advisors Act, and mutual funds under the Investment Company Act. Thereafter, the Enforcement Division sought his services in its Organized Crime Branch, where Mr. Stephens presided over the first case to use the new U.S.-Swiss Treaty to open up Swiss bank accounts in a criminal investigation. In the evenings, Mr. Stephens, as an Adjunct Professor, taught business law to college students at Benjamin Franklin University, now merged with George Washington University.
Accepting an offer to relocate to California, Mr. Stephens served as a Senior Attorney with the Atlantic Richfield Company (“ARCO”) at its corporate headquarters involving major litigation defending ARCO. At one point, he was responsible for supervising ARCO’s defense in most of its litigation cases nationwide. While at ARCO, Mr. Stephens underwent training in the Trial Attorneys Program sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, and performed pro bono services as a criminal prosecutor in Los Angeles.
Mr. Stephens decided to open his own litigation practice in Los Angeles, and ARCO became his principal client. Moreover, he was appointed by the Courts as a Judge pro tem, and sat on the bench for cases in the Los Angeles Municipal Court and Los Angeles Superior Court. Active in civic matters, Mr. Stephens was appointed and later reappointed to the State Architects Board by the Governor of California, where Mr. Stephens served as Vice-Chairman of the Enforcement Committee.
Mr. Stephens is a Member of the following Bars: California, Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 11th Circuit, and D.C. Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and numerous other courts.
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
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Richard's knowledge of securities law and FINRA rules and procedures is unmatched. His wealth of experience, strong advocacy skills and commitment to his clients sets him apart from his peers. He is certainly one of the top FINRA attorneys in Southern California. He's a first class attorney.
Christopher Mass Construction & Development Attorney
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|FL||Member in Good Standing||1993||09/08/2015|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Candidate on Ballot for Congress||U.S. Congress||1992|
|SEC Testimonial Award||U.S Securities & Exchange Commission||1979|
|Sole Partner -||Law Office of Richard A. Stephens||1987 - Present|
|Attorney||Atlantic Richfield Company||1979 - 1987|
|Attorney-Adviser||U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission||1976 - 1979|
|Attorney-Fellow||Ceneter for the Study of Financial Institutions and Securities Markets||1975 - 1976|
|Attorney||Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, PC||1974 - 1975|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit||Member of Bar||2004 - Present|
|U.S. Court of Appeals for 11th Circuit||Member of Bar||2004 - Present|
|Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association||Member||2001 - 2014|
|Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)||Arbitrator (Chairman roster)||1998 - Present|
|U.S. District Court for the Southern Dist. of FL||Member of Bar||1994 - Present|
|Los Angeles Municipal Court||Judge pro tem||1989 - 1991|
|Los Angeles Superior Court||Judge pro tem||1988 - 1991|
|California State Board of Architectural Examiners||Board Member (Governor Appointee)||1987 - 1992|
|United States Supreme Court Bar||Member||1982 - Present|
|U.S. District Court for Central Dist. of CA||Member of Bar||1980 - Present|
|U.S. District Court for the Southern Dist. of NY||Member of Bar||1975 - Present|
|U.S. Dist. Court for the Eastern Dist. of NY||Member of Bar||1975 - Present|
|New York State Bar Association||Member||1975 - Present|
|U.S. Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit||Member of Bar||1975 - Present|
|U.S. Dist. Court for the Northern Dist. of NY||Member of Bar||1975 - Present|
|Estate of Jack Gambino v. Triad Advisors||Award of $260,000|
|Resnick v. Citigroup Global Markets||Award of $400,000 plus attorneys fees|
|Estate of Michael Warren v. Morgan Stanley||Award of $5,000.000, including punitive damages|
|See all legal cases|
|George Washington Law Review||Reevaluation of Disclosure Requirements for Foreign Issuers: Securites Act of 1933||1977|
|George Washington Law Review||Reevaluation of Disclosyre Requirements for Foreign Issuers: Securities Exchange Act of 1934||1977|
|University of Pennsylvania Law School||Securities Regulation||LL.M - Master of Laws||1977|
|Cornell Law School||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1974|
|University of Michigan, Ann Arbor||Economics||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1971|
|Newspaper Interview||Punitive Damage Awards in Arbitrations||2004|
|CNBC Television interview||Arbitrations filed against stockbrokers||2001|