What Happens to the Personal Documents I Share With My Lawyer?
Many new clients who file an arbitration case with the Financial Industry
Regulatory Association (FINRA) ask us the same question: what happens
to the personal documents I send to you, as my securities arbitration lawyer?
As the beginning of your case, we will ask you to gather documents that
are relevant to the various claims involved in your case. Claimants in
FINRA arbitration are generally required to produce certain documents
to the other parties in the case. These documents include: tax documents,
financial statements, emails and communications with your broker, account
statements from other brokerage firms accounts, a resume, and various
The vast majority of clients who hire our law firm have never been through
any type of legal disputes or litigation before. As individuals, it is
often our natural tendency to hesitate in providing so much personal information,
and we often are asked about what happens to these documents, both throughout
the case and afterwards.
First, FINRA arbitration proceedings are not a matter of general public record.
The only publically available documents from FINRA arbitration is any
award that is issued at the close of a case. An award would contain the
names of the parties, the relief requested, and the relief awarded. FINRA
staff and arbitrators are obligated to keep information obtained confidential,
and any pleadings or papers filed during the case are not made public
in the vast majority of circumstances.
Second, when the documents are obtained by our office and produced in the course
of the case, we often enter into a confidentiality agreement among the
parties which provides that certain documents exchanged will not be disclosed
or used in any manner outside of the arbitration of the particular case.
You can speak with your attorney about the specifics of your case or concerns,
but this is a great option for limiting the use of your documents to only
the arbitration case.
Finally, when your case is completed and the documents are no longer needed, our
office returns your original documents to you and shred the copies we made. At
Meyer Wilson, we will always strive to keep your personal information private. Every
case is different, so it is important that you talk to your lawyer about
any concerns you have regarding your personal documents. You can call
us today or explore our website to learn more about the arbitration process.