Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a case take?

Most cases are resolved in approximately twelve months from the filing of the complaint.

What does it cost to bring a case?

The filing fee for a case (collected by the forum hearing the case) typically costs about $435 to $1,800, depending on whether the case is filed in court or at FINRA Arbitration. The attorney's fee is based on a contingency and if there is no recovery, there is no attorney's fee. Other costs are determined by the complexity of your case. Our office is very sensitive to the issue of costs for all of our clients. Should you have any questions, please contact us at 310-525-3516 or 866-451-2517.

What are the client's obligations when bringing a case?

The client's obligations are minimal, and typically only involve providing relevant documents to and communicating with counsel. In FINRA arbitrations, where most securities disputes are heard, a claimant has fewer obligations than in litigation in court. Claimants in a FINRA arbitration do not have to testify at depositions, and are not subject to interrogatories that they would otherwise have to answer if the matter were filed in court.

Can the client be held responsible for the defendant's attorney's fees or costs?

Although this is technically possible, Mr. Zussman has never had a case where the client has been ordered to pay the attorney's fees or costs of the adverse party.

If I win my case at FINRA, can the respondent firm appeal?

There are no appeals in FINRA arbitrations. Once the award is rendered, unless a motion to vacate is granted on very narrow grounds, the respondent firm is required to pay the award within 30 days.

Is it necessary to have a lawyer?

Not hiring an attorney is one of the biggest mistakes an investor can make when bringing a securities case. Although it is possible for an investor to represent him or herself, or to be represented by a non-attorney in a FINRA arbitration, this is a big mistake. The brokerage firm that the claim is made against will be represented by some of the best and most experienced securities defense lawyers in the country. To level the playing field, you must have outstanding legal counsel whose focus of their practice is securities arbitration and litigation, and that is what The Law Offices of Marc I. Zussman does full time.

FINRA allows investors to submit their complaints in written form without being represented by an attorney. This almost always results in an arbitration award in favor of the broker and brokerage firm. Our firm always demands a formal arbitration hearing at the time we file our client's claim.