For over three decades, The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates have been providing skilled and dedicated legal representation to public investors. Your investment broker or firm has a legally enforceable responsibility to act solely on your benefit when investing your money and providing financial services to you. If they have acted improperly, you have legal recourse, which we can provide. We provide services to our clients in the following areas:
- Securities Arbitration: Our practice specializes in securities arbitration matters. We have litigated hundreds of securities arbitration claims and have also tried more than eighty (80) cases to conclusion at FINRA arbitration. Arbitration decisions are legally binding and normally avoid lengthy and costly litigation.
- Securities Mediation: Mediation is another alternative to securities litigation. A neutral third party will work with the disputing parties and attempt to help them reach agreement. Unlike arbitration, the final settlement reached through mediation is not legally binding.
- Securities Litigation: It is normally recommended that resolution be reached through arbitration or mediation. This is not always possible, and sometimes is not what is best for the investor. Litigation can also be used in combination with the alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
Types of Cases We Handle
These are losses due to the negligent failure to follow express instructions given to a broker as well as the negligent failure of a broker’s firm to properly supervise the broker’s activities. Negligence may also include a broker’s failure to recommend investments which are consistent with a customer’s stated investment objectives and a customer’s risk tolerance.
These are losses resulting from investments and investment vehicles, including stocks, annuities, bonds, and options which were unsuitable based upon a client’s risk profile and/or investment objectives, even if the customer ratified or otherwise acquiesced to the broker’s “suggestion” that he/she make the investment.
- Failure to Supervise the Activity of a Customer Account:
A brokerage firm has an affirmative duty to formulate and implement layers of supervision to assure that a customer’s account is being monitored to prevent wrongful and sometimes abusive conduct which could result in customer losses. If trading in a client’s account is inappropriate in light of the customer’s stated investment objectives and level of risk tolerance, proper supervision should identify any “red flags” in a timely fashion, and intervention by a supervisor should protect the customer against losses that flow from the unsuitable trading.
- Failure of the Brokerage Firm to Adequately Supervise the Broker:
Brokerage firms must also formulate and implement systems of supervision over its individual brokers. This includes closely monitoring the broker’s trading patterns across the broker’s entire “book of business”, usually on a daily basis. If brokers’ supervisors negligently or intentionally choose to “look the other way”, notwithstanding obvious “red flags”, the brokerage firm may be held liable for the customer’s losses.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty:
In California, as a matter of law, a broker owes clients a fiduciary duty in the discharge of his duties. This means a broker owes the “highest” duty of loyalty and “highest” duty to always act in a manner consistent with the client’s best interest ahead of his own. Therefore the conduct of a broker is subject to heightened scrutiny insofar as how a recommendation to a customer might benefit the broker.
- Misrepresentation and Fraud:
When recommending or soliciting the purchase or sale of an investment, a broker is obligated to make a full disclosure of all material facts including, but not limited to, any risk of loss of principal, all fees and costs associated with the investment product (including commissions), the existence and availability of other similar investments, and any other material disclosures which might reasonably impact the customer’s decision to invest his/her funds.
- Overconcentration and Lack of Diversification:
Brokers have a duty to recommend a diversified portfolio. Diversification manages and limits investment risk. Investing a disproportionately large portion of a client’s portfolio in a single market sector (i.e. all technology or telecommunication stocks), a single investment vehicle (i.e. all stocks or annuities and no bonds or fixed income securities), or a single asset class (i.e. all funds invested in growth equity mutual funds and little or none in fixed income funds), creates unacceptable “concentration risk.”
- Churning of an Account:
Churning is excessive trading or turnover of an account in order to generate broker commissions. This may also include unjustified mutual fund switching or so-called IRC Section 1035 switching of variable annuities.
If you or someone you know in Southern California, throughout the country or worldwide needs the assistance of an experienced Securities Attorney, call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates today at (818) 760-9880, or complete the contact form provided on this site to schedule your free consultation.
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If you have a securities matter that you are concerned about and you are not getting the answers you need from your financial representatives, it may be time to seek the services of a seasoned attorney. You have many rights as an investor and our job is to ensure that your rights are protected. We have an excellent record of success over the years.
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