Michael J. Betts LLC represents clients in securities litigation matters and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration proceedings, i.e., securities/investment-related arbitrations administered by FINRA. Mr. Betts has extensive experience with such matters, representing investors, securities firms and professionals, and has handled a wide range of securities litigation matters and FINRA arbitrations – both “customer claims” and “industry claims.”
FINRA Customer Claims
In “customer claims,” securities firm customers claim that they suffered financial losses due to broker misconduct or the mishandling of their accounts. Customer claims can arise from many forms of alleged misconduct. Some examples of the more common types of customer claims are based on:
Fraudulent misrepresentations and nondisclosures
Portfolio mismanagement (e.g., lack of diversification)
Excessive trading (“churning”)
Claims based on annuities and other insurance products
Breach of fiduciary duties
Failure to supervise
Unless the parties otherwise agree, a single arbitrator handles claims of $100,000 or less. For claims over $100,000, three arbitrators sit on a panel unless the parties agree to only appoint a single arbitrator.
FINRA Industry Claims
In addition to handling FINRA customer claims, Mr. Betts devotes a portion of his practice to representing brokers in “industry arbitrations” involving employment disputes and other intra-industry disputes arising between FINRA member firms or between firms and brokers (“associated persons”). Mr. Betts also represents brokers in connection with FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations and enforcement proceedings.
FINRA industry arbitrations involve disputes between brokers and the firms with whom they are or were employed. These cases frequently relate to issues that arise as a result of the termination of the employment relationship, and many of the cases are brought by the firms, who seek repayment of amounts allegedly due under employee forgivable loans (“EFLs”) and promissory notes made by the broker at the inception of the employment relationship or thereafter. Mr. Betts also represents brokers with respect to noncompete and trade secret issues that arise when brokers move from one firm to another. Other common types of industry claims include raiding cases, defamation claims and claims involving statutory discrimination and whistleblowing.
Michael J. Betts LLC represents clients in commercial litigation and securities litigation matters in federal and state courts in Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania. Michael J. Betts also provides mediation and other ADR-related services in connection with commercial litigation, securities litigation, and FINRA arbitrations.