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due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Spotlight on Finra reform, authority's case processes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority consistently asserts these days that its regulators are zeroed in on the nation's investment houses and brokers like never before.

And that, they say, is a good thing for individuals and families in California and across the country who entrust hard-earned savings to money managers. Those professionals are tasked to work on behalf of clients in good faith, and Finra principals contend that progressively tighter compliance and enforcement controls promote that outcome.

While Finra focuses on investment advisers, though, the investment industry is focusing just as strongly back on Finra with calls for change within the agency.

As a recent national news report notes, Finra "is getting a fair amount of attention" these days in Washington, D.C., with broad-based reform demands gaining traction.

Some critics decry what they see as overly concentrated power that is exercised in relative secrecy. They want Finra board matters made public and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to take over Finra's enforcement duties.

And they also want greater transparency attached to arbitration proceedings conducted by Finra panels.

That latter point is something we can closely speak to at the Los Angeles Law Offices of Marc I. Zussman, given our deep well of experience representing individual and institutional clients against brokers who have defrauded them.

As we note on our website, investors typically have many questions concerning Finra arbitration, which is a process quite different from an investment matter litigated in court.

In fact, Finra arbitrations can seem a bit veiled. Moreover, there is no appeal once a case is decided, and involved advisers/brokerages frequently do everything they can to keep things confidential.

That often includes their push for hurried outcomes and a process where complaints are voiced only in writing and without input from an experienced securities law attorney protecting an investor's interests.

Proven legal counsel will always challenge such strategies by insisting on a formal arbitration hearing and a full presentation of facts, with a client's position being aggressively argued at every step of the process.

Finra arbitration can be an effective process for injured investors seeking a maximum legal recovery against unlawful broker conduct. An experienced attorney fighting on their behalf can help promote fundamental fairness and a positive outcome.

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