Our Accomplishments

The Firm regularly handles complex legal matters for an impressive clientele, both domestic and international, private as well as publicly owned. Our work includes a wide variety of securities, finance, and business disputes, in courts and arbitration forums throughout the country, and corporate, securities and business transactions. We successfully have defended our clients from numerous claims and lawsuits, and obtained over $1 billion of settlements and verdicts, including acting as co-counsel in the Nasdaq Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation, which alleged collusion amongst Wall Street traders, resulting in one of the largest settlements at the time, $1.027 billion.

The following is a partial listing of the Firm's current and historical endeavors:

We have handled hundreds of FINRA arbitrations and related cases for broker-dealers, registered representatives, investment advisory firms and advisors, and public investors. While most of these typically are resolved by confidential settlements reached through careful mediation prior to hearings, we have extensive experience litigating and arbitrating both intra-industry and public customer FINRA cases.

This is a representative sampling of the FINRA awards we have obtained for our clients:

FINRA Awards


Full Denial of $1,140,954.00 Claim; Award of $254,000.00 in Legal Fees and Costs to Our ClientDeukmedjian Revocable Family Trust v. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and David Pathe, FINRA Case No. 19-02176. We represented a retired accountant who held power of attorney over another investor’s Schwab accounts. The Claimant-investor asserted claims against our client and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. for breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. Her complaint involved more than $1.1 million alleged losses she sustained in connection with an options trading strategy in ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY). In its Award, the Arbitration Panel denied the Claimants’ claims in their entirety and awarded our client $254,000.00 in attorneys’ fees and costs.


Full Expungement of Customer ComplaintChen v. M.S. Howells & Co., Inc., FINRA Case No. 21-00468. We represented an experienced financial professional, Tim C. Chen, in an expungement claim involving false and erroneous allegations by a former client. In its Award, the Arbitrator granted our client’s expungement request in full, ordering the false and erroneous complaint to be removed from his CRD record and FINRA BrokerCheck report. 


$174,608.00 – Campbell v. Entoro Securities, LLCFINRA Case No. 19-00422.  We represented a registered representative who asserted claims against his former employer for breach of contract and violation of the California Labor Code.  His complaints were that he was not paid commissions that were owed, was misclassified as an independent contractor, and was not reimbursed for business expenses. The Award included damages for the unpaid commissions and unreimbursed business expenses, as well as attorneys’ fees.


$1,800,000.00  Christopher Johnson & Lee Przybyla v. USAA Financial Advisors, Inc.FINRA Case No. 17-03279.  We represented two former USAA wealth managers who were terminated for alleged "improper practices" in the publication of financial plans.  On behalf of the Claimants, we asserted claims for defamation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, tortious interference and negligent supervision and retention.  After the evidentiary hearings, the FINRA Arbitration Panel issued an Award directing USAA to pay a total of $1.8 million to the Claimants.  Notably, of the $1.8 million, $700,000.00 was for punitive damages based on USAA's conduct and $250,000.00 was for attorney's fees.  In addition, the Panel recommended the full expungement and removal of the defamatory disclosures USAA made on the Claimants' CRD record following their improper termination.  The Award was among the largest intra-industry/employment awards of 2019 and contained one of the largest punitive damage awards in the past several years.  


FINRA Arbitration Award Expunging Three Customer Complaints from Financial Advisor's CRD Record  We represented an experienced financial advisor in a FINRA arbitration proceeding seeking expungement of three individual customer complaints from the advisor's CRD record and FINRA BrokerCheck report.  In a reasoned award issued in October 2018, the Arbitrator granted expungement of all three customer complaints, including one complaint that arose out of a prior FINRA arbitration in which the advisor had been named.  


$320,000.00  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 a Labor Code violation in which he claimed he paid a portion of his sales assistant’s salary which 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  Vitale and 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 intra industry award of the year.


$622,250.00  Brown v. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, FINRA Case No. 10-05727.  We 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 losses for our client. 


$334,000.00  Kramer, et al. v. CapWest Securities, 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-dollar breach of contract claim against our broker-dealer client, Cetera Financial Group.  We also recovered over $24,000.00 in taxable costs for our client, resulting in a complete vindication.

$275,000.00  Lovins v. UBS Financial Services, Inc., FINRA Case No. 09-00593.  We represented a former UBS broker who alleged UBS wrongly terminated her 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 their entire inheritance.  The award included interest and legal fees to make our clients whole.


$450,000.00  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 life savings based on the self-interested and negligent advice of her friend and 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 suffered a substantial loss of her life savings at the hands of a negligent Morgan Stanley broker who decimated her savings at his and his 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.  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 was taken advantage of by a fellow Korean, Charles Schwab’s 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 our client sustained when a Merrill broker induced him to switch his entire portfolio from U.S. treasuries to a handful of speculative, foreign telecommunications stocks.


$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.


$122,359.00  Financial Northeastern Securities, Inc. v. Norman Steel, et al., NASD Case No. 94-04965.  We successfully defended our broker-dealer client in a case against it by a sophisticated Michigan builder who hand-picked, selected, and purchased $10 million of CDO’s (collateralized debt obligations) and then alleged the investments were unsuitable.  We proved to the panel the investor was highly sophisticated; understood the nature of the investments; and the inherent risks.  All claims against our client were dismissed and we recovered over $120,000 of legal fees and costs our client incurred in defending itself.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 stockbrokers/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.

  • Defended a 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.

  • Formed and counsel many Broker-Dealers and Registered Investment Advisory firms.
  • Formed and advised both regulated and unregulated investment advisors, investment partnerships, private equity 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. Call us to discuss your particular legal need:

San Diego
(619) 696-9500

(949) 451-6800

Los Angeles
(310) 430-4688

San Francisco
(415) 282-4200

New York
(212) 688-5900