The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released a statement warning investors that a number of non-lawyer representatives have exploited customer claimants they represented in FINRA’s arbitration and mediation forum.
FINRA was made aware of this issue after customer claimants made allegations, reporting that their representatives took settlement money they were aware of, were represented without first securing consent from the claimant, and by charging non-refundable deposits totaling as much as $25,000.
FINRA is also concerned that few, if any, of these non-lawyer representatives have malpractice insurance. Addressing these concerns is expected to be one of its top priorities in 2018. It will likely send out a regulatory notice to seek comment on what actions should be taken. Some options on the table include issuing a guidance on what customer claimants should be considering when they hire non-lawyer representatives, or outright barring non-lawyer representatives in arbitration and mediation forums.
While FINRA’s current rules permit non-lawyer representatives, there are certain exceptions when this is not permitted like when the chosen representative is disbarred or currently suspended, barred or suspended from the securities industry, or in cases where state law does not permit a non-lawyer representative.
If you were taken advantage of by a non-lawyer representative, contact the law firm of Meyer Wilson today. Our investment fraud attorneys have spent nearly two decades representing clients throughout the United States, and through our efforts we have recovered more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements. Start out with a free consultation by providing us the details of your case through our online form, or call us at one of our offices today to discuss your case with one of our attorney over the phone.