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How do I take a former finra agent to federal court for misconduct? also punative damages?

Tarpon Springs, FL |

he defrauded 6 people with a stock we were to old to lose our money, recommended take money from home equity loan cask in IRA's life insurance etc

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Attorney answers 6


You bring a suit against the agent. See a local attorney to discuss ALL the facts and ALL the circumstances. You can call your state bar asssociation and ask for their lawyer referral service or use avvo 'find a lawyer' tab to locate an attorney near you.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.


You need an attorney willing to take the case. Schedule an appointment with an attorney that works on securities cases.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


First step: Hire a lawyer.

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It sounds like you want to take your stockbroker to arbitration. Steven Toskes' firm handles such claims all over the country from their Florida headquarters.

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Of course you can engage private counsel to initiate and pursue a federal damages action. The community of federal litigators with experience in this subject matter can be readily identified and accessed through Avvo or even Google.

You may also want to look into initiating professional discipline under FINRA's broad enforcement powers. Below is the link to the manual that spells out the complaint processes, investigative powers, potential penalties, and offenses for which punishments (suspensions, for example) and remedies (such as reimbursement and restitution) may be pursued.

"The National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), formerly the National Business Conduct Committee, has developed the FINRA Sanction Guidelines for use by the various bodies adjudicating disciplinary decisions, including Hearing Panels and the NAC itself (collectively, the Adjudicators), in determining appropriate remedial sanctions. FINRA has published the FINRA Sanction Guidelines so that members, associated persons and their counsel may become more familiar with the types of disciplinary sanctions that may be applicable to various violations. FINRA staff and respondents also may use these guidelines in crafting settlements, acknowledging the broadly recognized principle that settled cases generally result in lower sanctions than fully litigated cases to provide incentives to settle."

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland


I am a FINRA arbitrator and you are more familial with the rules than I!

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Just finished a very complicated FINRA matter.


Seeking relief against a registrant of FINRA generally requires that you submit your matter to arbitration before FINRA. Just because there are six people involved does not mean you can go to court. The others must arbitrate as well.

Be aware that losing money in an investment doesn't necessarily mean you have a cause of action against the registrant. While it sounds like you have issues regarding the suitability of transactions and advice to borrow money (which violates a number of rules), you will likely have to face the defense of your sophistication. That means whether or not you were an experienced investor who knew or should have known of the risks involved.

Also, note that while you may wish to seek relief against the registrant, the broker/dealer with whom the registrant is licensed should also be considered as a party. While I have seen no documents regarding your case, the use of borrowed funds for the purchase of stock across several accounts should have raised some "red flags" somewhere. There may be issues as well if the stock was something not publicly traded or approved by the firm.

Happy to assist further.

The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.

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