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Richard A Stephens

Securities and investment fraud Attorney at Los Angeles, CA

5.0   6 reviews
  • State Years
    California - CA 43 years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 43 years
    New York - NY 48 years
    Florida - FL 30 years
  • Licensed for 43 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1980
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 43 years
    State DC
    Acquired 1979
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 48 years
    State NY
    Acquired 1975
    Currently Registered No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 30 years
    State FL
    Acquired 1993
    Inactive No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Richard

Learn Richard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Securities and investment fraud
    Through FINRA arbitration, get investor-clients recovery of market losses from stockbrokers and investment advisors who were negligent with unsuitable or unauthorized investments, churning, fraud, or violations of federal or state regulations.

    28 years, 100 cases

  2. Arbitration

    28 years, 100 cases

  3. Financial markets and services

    28 years, 100 cases

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

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.

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Law Office of Richard A. Stephens
10404 Ruthven Lane in Bel Air
Los Angeles, CA, 90077


5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | August 15, 2014
A true gladiator in the 21st century
Richard Stephens represented my brother(who has since passed away) against a major securities firm. In his words and I quote"your true purpose and motive was to seek justice,and I applaud you for your boundless energy and outstanding knowledge of the law.and so I say, in sincerest thanks and gratitude win or lose, it has been my pleasure and honor to have you represent me in a court of law, No one could have served me better." They won the case!!1
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Posted by Paulette | June 23, 2014
Powerful Skills
Richard proved to be the BEST ATTORNEY anyone could have in their corner. He is absolutely BRILLIANT , highly respected and his powerful skills have earned him a solid success record. I thank him every day for taking my case...he is a HERO!
Posted by William | June 20, 2014
In late 2007 I was with a stockbroker from New York. At first everything seemed ok and then everything went bad very quickly. The agent was making unauthorized trades over $1,150,000 on margin when my account had about $ 240,000 in equity. I really did not understand what was happening. When I contacted Richard Stephens, He was very Professional and reassuring. Mr. Stephens. then reviewed the files, did his own investigation and found that the brokerage firm was using an unregistered securities firm, further that the brokers were involved in fraudulent activities and conduct. Mr. Stephens decided a course of action and filed a complaint with FINRA. During the FINRA hearings the brokerage firm was always late, witnesses not available and many other reasons to delay. Mr. Stephens was very aggressive in stopping these actions and bringing out what really happened. Mr. Stephens expertise and presentation to the FINRA hearing officers resulted in a positive outcome for me. From the start to the finish Mr. Stephens was always available and kept me updated at all times on what was happening. .I firmly believe that Mr. Stephens is a honest and fair man. As an Attorney it is my opinion that there is no finer or more capable than Richard Stephens. If I ever need another attorney, I will definitely contact Mr. Stephens. I recommend without any reservation Richard Stephens to any person who needs an attorney or legal guidance. I say this because, after loosing my retirement money, he gave me back my life and I am very thankful.
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Posted by Irene | June 20, 2014
Richard A Stephens, A Fabulous Attorney
I am a senior citizen who was scammed on my money by a Financial Planner. Richard A Stephens is an excellent attorney who knows how to win a case. Before I contacted him, I called many attorneys and were told the case was not worthwhile. He took me on as a client when all other attorneys refused. Richard A Stephens has a heart. He was in constant touch with me even when he was out of town. I always felt like I was informed every step of the way. If I called him, and he was not available, I would leave a message and he always returned my calls the same day. Richard A Stephens settled my case extremely satisfactorily, and extremely fast. In my wildest dreams I never expected to receive my settlement so quickly. I give Richard A Stephens the highest rating.
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Posted by Jay | June 17, 2014
Legal Services
Everything Richard explained to me was straight forward and the outcome was great. I'd recommend him to represent me agian if needed.
Posted by anonymous | June 14, 2014
Want a Good Lawyer? Here's One!
Richard was excellent. He was also kind, which is not always the case for attorneys. He worked with the business at hand and got it done with a good outcome. Frankly, it was a relief to work with him. I will refer people to him.
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AVVO RATING 8.2 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • 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
View all work experience


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 1977
  • Cornell Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1974
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1971

Legal Cases

  • 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
View all legal cases


  • 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
  • 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
  • United States Supreme Court Bar
  • Member
  • 1982 - Present
  • U.S. District Court for Central Dist. of CA
  • Member of Bar
  • 1980 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1975 - Present
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit
  • Member of Bar
  • 1975 - 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
  • U.S. Dist. Court for the Northern Dist. of NY
  • Member of Bar
  • 1975 - Present
  • Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2001 - 2014
  • Los Angeles Municipal Court
  • Judge pro tem
  • 1989 - 1991
  • Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Judge pro tem
  • 1988 - 1991
  • California State Board of Architectural Examiners
  • Vice Chair
  • 1987 - 1992
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Candidate on Ballot for Congress
  • U.S. Congress
  • 1992
  • SEC Testimonial Award
  • U.S Securities & Exchange Commission
  • 1979

Speaking Engagements

  • Newspaper Interview
  • Punitive Damage Awards in Arbitrations
  • 2004
  • CNBC Television interview
  • Arbitrations filed against stockbrokers
  • 2001

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (1)
Endorse Richard
Securities and investment fraud Attorney | Jun 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Richard is a passionate advocate for defrauded investors with significant experience trying finra arbitration cases."
Securities and investment fraud Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"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."