Hiring a securities lawyer, whether you are an investor or a financial professional, is the most important decisions in recovering losses, or in defending against claims and investigations. However, the tag lines used by securities law firms in their advertising is not the way to go about finding a securities lawyer.
Here are some classic, and meaningless tag lines.
Millions Recovered for our Clients
Let’s be realistic here. Any law firm who represents claimants has recovered millions for their clients. That is not a significant recommendation for a firm. Think about it. Handle 20 customer arbitrations, collect $100,000 in each, you have “recovered millions” for your clients. If your firm has 5 attorneys, who are in practice for 10 years, that means that if each attorney wins $100,000 4 times in 10 years, the firm has “recovered millions” for their clients.
What might be a better measure is how many million dollar awards does the firm have? While that is still somewhat a measure of who hired the lawyer, the ability to win a million dollar award or settlement provides some insight into the attorney’s ability.
Experienced Securities Attorneys
This is probably the most insignificant tag line. Of course you are an experienced securities attorney. Handle one arbitration, one OTR and you are an “experienced” securities attorney. Want to know how experienced the attorney really is? Find out how many arbitration awards he has participated in. Go to FINRA’s award database, and search on the attorney’s name. Not perfect, since awards before 1995 are not there, many cases that settle are not there, and sometimes another attorney’s name is in the award, rather than the attorney who actually handled the arbitration, but the numbers and types of cases will give you a clue as to just how “experienced” that securities attorney really is. There are actually attorneys who claim to be securities arbitration attorneys who do not have a single award in that database.
We help securities fraud victims recover investment losses
Yes, I am sure you do Mr. Attorney. But that is what every securities arbitration attorney does. This tag line doesn’t make you any different or better than anyone else.
Top Securities Lawyers
Really? How much advertising did you buy to have that publication say you were the best? What did your clients say?
Defending Investors from Fraud
No, you are not defending investors from fraud, you are attempting to recover an investor’s losses that you believe might have been caused by fraud. You are involved AFTER the fraud, when it is too late to defend.
Exclusive Investor Representation
Is this really a good thing? Do you want an attorney who only does one side, who makes the same arguments over and over again, without ever discussing the industry standards, practices or procedures with industry professionals?
Free Loss Analysis
Sure, you can get a free loss analysis any experienced securities attorney can look at your account statements and do a “loss analysis”, but that isn’t going to be very helpful. You will need a full analysis of your accounts, and that will ultimately cost money. Every law firm can arrange for that analysis for you.
Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.