Minneapolis, MN investor advocacy attorney F. Chet Taylor talks about the first securities arbitration he handled himself.
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My first securities arbitration was very interesting. I was probably a second or third year attorney which was first one I handled by myself and it was a situation where a couple that was ready to retire had found out that everything they had invested with a particular investment advisor had been lost. Now as I’m looking at the documents the documents are claiming that my clients had a much greater income and net worth than what they really had and yet my clients signed the documents so I was very confused by that.
Well, one day a couple of months before trial I got a phone call from somebody out of the blue who said they were the sales assistant for the broker. They were new to the industry at the time they didn’t know this was wrong but the broker had instructed her to change the income and net worth of my clients so that they would appear to qualify for these investments. Well that was unbelievable to get that kind of support from somebody who used to work for the broker. She agreed to testify at the arbitration hearing and my first time out I was able to recover 100 percent of that customer’s losses plus interest plus attorney fees.
And I learned a lesson from that and that is never trust the documents on their face because you just never know when those documents might have been modified or forged.