Non-Attorney Representatives Are a Menace to Investors
In days gone by, barbers doubled as medical doctors. You could go to the barber to get a shave - or you could go for blood-letting or surgery. Today, such quaint historical quirks as this make us chuckle. Amazingly, however, the legal equivalent of the barber/surgeon, at least in the specialized area of securities litigation, remains in place.
Until recently, non-attorney representatives have been permitted by the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) to advocate on behalf of aggrieved investors in their arbitration forum. As we have pointed out in several previous articles and posts on the FINRA process, the forum is very much NOT a court of law. Instead, it more like a tribunal of former industry professionals who sit in judgment of your grievance and who are generally biased toward their fellow industry professionals. Well, besides the impartiality of arbitration panels themselves, another big problem with FINRA arbitration is that it has no issue with non-attorneys representing investors.
Investor Advocacy Group Seeks Ban on Non-Attorney Representatives
Now, a group of attorneys who advocate for investors is trying to change all that. PIABA (Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association) recently issued a lengthy report on the negative impact non-attorney representatives (or, NARs, as they call them) have on investor interests. The report is a devastating indictment of a kind of systematic malpractice being perpetrated by NARs who really have no professional training and little grasp of the complexities of FINRA arbitration. Indeed, many actually practicing attorneys who are unfamiliar with the FINRA process have difficulty wrapping their heads around its idiosyncratic rules and regulations; matters are much worse for NARs who are, in effect, exploiting investors in a vulnerable position for personal gain.
The PIABA report details many of the extensive problems and issues with NARs, and examines their paltry win rates and some of the people who run these operations. The report concludes with a call for a complete ban, with some notable exceptions for law school clinics and close family members of the investor.
FINRA Securities Litigation Lawyers
If you or a loved one have suffered financial injury due to broker misconduct or investment fraud, please consider the implications of this report when selecting representation. Unlike the vast majority of non-attorney representatives, our experienced securities litigation team will protect your legal rights and advocate for you with our extensive knowledge of the process itself. For a free consultation please call 215 462 3330 or contact us using our online form.