The Firm regularly handles complex legal matters for an impressive clientele, both domestic and international, private as well as publicly owned. The following is a partial listing of the Firm’s current and historical endeavors:
FINRA Arbitrations, Litigations and Financial Services Disputes
We have handled hundreds of FINRA arbitrations and related cases for broker-dealers, registered representatives, investment advisors and public investors. While most of those cases ultimately are settled at the mediation stage, we have extensive experience litigating and arbitrating these cases. This is a representative sampling of the awards we have obtained for our clients:
$320,000.00 - Bradford Underdahl v. Morgan Stanley, FINRA Case No. 11-03247. We represented a former Morgan Stanley broker who asserted claims against Morgan Stanley for breach of contract and violation of the California Labor Code. One of his complaints was that he paid a portion of his sales assistant’s salary which we alleged should have been paid for by Morgan Stanley.
Dismissal before hearings of entire FINRA case against our broker-dealer client - Lieberman v. Financial Northeastern Securities, Inc., FINRA No. 10-00231. We obtained dismissal before hearings of all claims against our broker-dealer client brought by a former client who alleged she suffered losses based on unsuitable investments. The decision was unusual since it is very difficult, and very rare to have FINRA cases dismissed before hearings.
$4,965,016.54 - Todd G. Vitale and John P. Paladino v. Morgan Stanley, FINRA Case No. 11-01633. We represented two former Morgan Stanley brokers who were hired by Morgan Stanley under false pretenses and broken promises. This was the largest broker/firm dispute award of the year.
$622,250.00 - Donald H. Brown v. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, FINRA Case No. 10-05727. Our firm represented an elderly widower who claimed Fidelity erroneously opened what should have been a joint account with right of survivorship as a co-tenancy account which caused substantial estate tax and other problems for our client.
$334,000.00 - Stanley Kramer, et al. v. CapWest Secuirites, Inc., et al., FINRA No. 09-05581. We represented an elderly widow who claimed she was induced to invest in a failed TIC (Tenants in Common) 1031 tax free exchange.
Case Dismissed for our Brokerage Firm Client and All Costs Recovered - Gina Coco, et al. v. Cetera Financial Group, Inc., successor in interest to ING Brokers Network, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. YC063454. We successfully defended and obtained the full dismissal before trial of a multi-million breach of contract claim against our broker-dealer client. We also recovered over $24,000.00 in taxable costs for our client. A complete vindication and victory for our client, Cetera Financial Group.
$275,000.00 - Lois H. Lovins v. UBS Financial Services, Inc., FINRA Case No. 09-00593. We represented a former UBS broker whom we alleged UBS wrongly terminated when she was physically incapacitated and denied certain benefits to which she was entitled.
$1,800,000.00 - Ronald W. May and Kathryn R. Chapman vs. LPL, FINRA Case No. 07-02717. We represented two orphans who lost their entire inheritance when their long time family friend and trustee, an LPL broker, stole all of their inheritance. The award included interest and legal fees to make our clients whole.
$450,000.00 - Brenda Exline v. ABD Financial Services, et al., NASD Case No. 04-03461. We represented a young, successful businesswoman who suffered a substantial loss of her savings based on the allegedly self-interested and negligent advice of her trusted financial advisor.
$750,000.00 - Joyce S. Douglas 1998 Revocable Trust v. Morgan Stanley DW, Inc., NYSE Case No. 2003-011292. We represented an elderly, mentally incapacitated woman who we alleged suffered a substantial loss of her life savings at the hands of a negligent Morgan Stanley broker who decimated her savings at his and the firm’s benefit.
$153,500.00 - Gertrude Goldstein Revocable Trust v. American Skandia, et al., NASD Case No. 03-03319. We helped our client, a 93 year old widow, recover losses she sustained on purchasing an unsuitable life insurance annuity from American Skandia. The evidence at hearings showed the broker had forged a beneficiary’s signature. We recovered all of our client’s losses.
$167,896.00 - Hae Sim Lee, et al. v. Charles Schwab, NASD Case No. 01-00947. We recovered losses sustained by a Korean client who we alleged was taken advantage of by a fellow Korean Charles Schwab broker who deceived her as to the amount of gains, and losses, she sustained in her account.
$450,000.00 - Vito Colonna, et al. v. Merrill Lynch, et al., NASD Case No. 99-05049. We recovered losses incurred by our Ohio client who we claimed was induced to switch his entire portfolio from U.S. treasuries to a handful of speculative, foreign telecommunications stocks at the direction and advice of his Merrill Lynch broker.
$456,873.00 - Duane E. Townsend, M.D., v. Robert John Johnson, Jr., et al., NASD Case No. 98-04099. We recovered substantial losses incurred by our client who claimed he was induced to make unsuitable, speculative investments in his RIA by his long time, trusted advisor.
$426,160.00 - Ray Neufeld, et al. v. Maurice Arthur Gross, et al., NASD Case No. 99-02210. We helped our clients recover losses they sustained arising out of unsuitable investment advice they received from their trusted financial advisor.
Dismissal of all claims against our broker-dealer client and recovery of $122,359.00 in legal fees and costs - Financial Northeastern Securities, Inc. v. Norman Steel, et al., NASD Case No. 94-04965. We successful defended our broker-dealer client in a case against it by a sophisticated Michigan builder who purchased app. $10 million of CDO’s (collateralized debt obligations) and who then alleged the investments were unsuitable. We were able to prove to the panel that the investor was highly sophisticated; understood the nature of the investments and the inherent risks. Not only were all claims against our client dismissed, but we recovered over $120,000 of legal fees and costs that our client incurred in defending itself.
Other Noteworthy FINRA Cases
- Represented a publicly traded company in two FINRA arbitration proceedings concerning nearly $100 million in frozen auction rate securities. Both proceedings settled favorably during their respective hearings.
- Represented ultra high net-worth investors in multimillion dollar FINRA arbitration arising out of flawed options trading strategy.
- Represented securities broker-dealer in FINRA arbitration proceeding arising out of its sale of securities in a private offering under SEC Regulation D.
- Represented multiple registered representatives and broker-dealers in FINRA inquiries and investigations. No action taken by FINRA in any of the matters.
Other Litigations, Arbitrations and Disputes
- Handled several hundred litigations and arbitrations throughout the country, in a variety of areas including securities and financial fraud, corporate governance, investment fraud, insurance, equipment leasing and asset securitization, defamation, intellectual property, breach of contract, employment disputes and unfair business practices. We have handled litigations in both Federal and State Courts across the country and arbitrations at various arbitration forums across the country and overseas including FINRA, American Arbitration Association; JAMS; International Chamber of Commerce; the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and other forums.
- Recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for defrauded investors. Co-counsel for plaintiffs in the NASDAQ Market-Makers anti-trust litigation which resulted in one of the largest class action settlements to date (over $900 Million).
- Obtained one of the largest libel jury verdicts ever awarded in New York.
- Represented majority shareholder venture capitalist in federal court action concerning minority venture capitalist shareholders’ claims of breach of fiduciary duty under Delaware law arising out of conversion of preferred shares to common shares and subsequent distribution of proceeds from $39M merger; case included three separate injunctive relief proceedings and two interlocutory appeals to the Ninth Circuit; one of the appeals was on an important issue of first impression under Delaware law, which was decided in favor of our client; achieved complete victory for client.
- Represented individual client in securities fraud class action under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in federal court in New York City.
- Represented Fortune 400 individual in SEC insider trading investigation. Investigation was dropped with no action taken by the SEC.
- Represented a New York investment banker and broker-dealer in shareholder derivative action brought on behalf of then-publicly traded company which, following its bankruptcy, converted to a direct action by bankruptcy trustee. Client was dismissed with prejudice without providing any payment or other consideration.
- Represented several defendant clients in multiple federal and state court class and individual actions and in FINRA arbitration proceedings related to the sale of Tenant in Common interest in real estate through the sale of securities in limited liability companies.
- Represented many individuals and groups of stock brokers/investment advisors in connection with their departure from one broker-dealer to another in litigation with former Registered Investment Advisor they also departed; included injunctive relief proceedings and issues relating to the “Protocol on Broker Recruiting.”
- Represented issuer of securities in state court action brought by investor alleging claims of fraud and failure to qualify under the California securities laws.
- Represented successor in interest to claims of bankrupt formerly publicly traded company in action alleging breach of fiduciary duty claims against former officers, directors, and advisors; included Anti-SLAPP proceedings at the trial court and court of appeal levels.
- Represented numerous defendant public companies and their officers and directors in federal securities fraud class actions under both the ’33 and ’34 Acts, in trial courts and courts of appeal; also represented several plaintiff public and private companies in ’34 Act securities fraud claims arising out of their acquisitions of other companies.
- Represented numerous public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder derivative actions, often arising out of allegations in parallel federal securities fraud actions, in trial courts and courts of appeal.
- Represented public companies and officers/directors in actions alleging breach of fiduciary duties in connection with approving mergers and in other merger-related contexts.
- Represented public companies and directors/officers in SEC regulatory investigations and related proceedings, including in civil litigation against the SEC.
- Represented numerous broker/dealers and their representatives, as well as investors, in FINRA arbitration proceedings.
- Represented medical technology company in lawsuit against its publicly traded predecessor’s founders and former executives involving their breach of non-disparagement and non-interference agreements that caused predecessor to lose access to capital and ultimately fail. Prevailed at trial.
- Represented medical technology company in AAA arbitration regarding the breach by the counter-party to a distribution agreement for medical aesthetics product; obtained favorable settlement concerning the approximately $5 million in dispute.
- Represented partner of large Japanese conglomerate in lawsuit seeking sums owed client arising out of merger and acquisition activity between conglomerate and another company that was facilitated by client.
- Represented defendant nationwide merchant funder in class action lawsuit claiming that its purchases of future credit card receivables were disguised loans subject to usury laws. Obtained favorable settlement, approved by the court, which allowed the company to continue as a going concern.
- Represented Nike, Inc., in connection with its rights as a class member in major antitrust litigation.
- Represented publicly traded company in consumer class action under California Business and Professions Code section 17200 arising out of allegedly misleading designation of origin of consumer product.
- Represented the national association of franchisees of major fast food franchise in two separate class action and representative lawsuits concerning franchisee rights under their franchise agreements. First case ever where Article III “associational standing” by a franchisee association was recognized.
- Represented numerous public and private companies in defending class action, quasi-class action, and individual claims arising under California Business and Professions Code section 17200 and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and analogous laws of other states, including in coordinated statewide proceedings and federal Multi-District Litigation proceedings, as well as in multiple arbitral forums.
- Represented numerous public and private companies in consumer class action litigations concerning, among other various topics, franchise claims, claims of deception, claims involving allegedly excessive late fees, insurance-related claims, tobacco claims, and the like.
Transactions and Deals
- Formed and counsel Broker-Dealers and Registered Investment Advisory firms.
- Formed and advised both regulated and unregulated investment advisors, investment partnerships and hedge funds.
- Advised and represented hundreds of brokers in connection with transitions from one firm to another.
- Broker Protocol counseling and guidance; “Up-Front” forgivable note disputes and arbitrations; compliance and problem counseling.
- Negotiated hundreds of real estate lease, purchase and sale contracts.
- Stock and asset purchases and sales for clients throughout the country.
- Corporate formation, operation and restructuring.
- Private placements, Regulation D offerings, mergers, acquisitions and proxy solicitations.
- Insider trader counseling, including reporting on Forms 3 and 4.
- Federals securities law regulation and compliance / State “Blue Sky” securities and compliance.
Schedule a free initial consultation by calling Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. toll free at 888-748-8748, or contact us online.
The cases and results described above are not intended to constitute and shall not be construed as a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of a potential legal claim. Every case is different, and the outcome of a particular case will depend on a number of factors and circumstances unique to that particular legal matter.