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 other documents.

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.