Are you facing a disciplinary action by FINRA? Perhaps you want to appeal it, or maybe you were just notified about it – we can help. The Spodek Law Group is a service driven FINRA defense law firm – and can help you. Regardless of where you are in the USA – our FINRA disciplinary lawyers can help you.
With offices in Los Angeles and NYC, we can help you. We will work with you to ensure that all of your questions are answered and that you are treated fairly in the disciplinary process. Most importantly, we’ll work to get the case against you dismissed. FINRA proceedings are governed by the the FINRA Code of Procedure. We are well versed with this code, and know how to win cases.
The FINRA rules are available online. During the conference, the hearing officer asks all parties about the case. The hearing officer tries to answer questions you might have. The hearing officer asks the parties about dates and locations for the hearing. Based on the circumstances of your case, the officer might establish a hearing date, and a pre-hearing schedule. If you want witnesses to testify at the hearing, or if you want to offer exhibits – you will be required to provide a list of witnesses and exhibits, and copies of the exhibits, to the Hearing Officer and Department before the hearing takes place. You will also get a list of all the Department’s witnesses and exhibits, and copies of the Department’s proposed exhibits before the hearing. If you ask for a hearing, you have to appear for the hearing. If you fail to appear for the hearing, you will be held in default.
Responding to FINRA complaints
You should hire an attorney to work with you on this complaint and respond. You can send an answer to the FINRA hearing officer in Washington DC, and a copy to the Department Attorney whose name will be listed in the Notice of Complaint. In addition, you can email your answer as a .pdf file to the Office of Hearing Officers. If you file it by email, you have to email your answer to the Department attorney in the complaint. You must also send the signed original answer along with three hard copies to the Office of Hearing Officers.
In the answer, your FINRA disciplinary lawyer will respond to each allegation in the complaint. You have to do more than offer a general denial. You have to admit or deny each allegation separately. You can admit to some parts, and deny others. If you don’t have enough information to admit or deny something, your attorney will say, and it will be treated like a denial.
Typically you have 25 days to answer to the complaint after its served on you. The date is stated in the Notice of Complaint. If you don’t file an answer, the Department will send you a Second Notice of Complaint. If you don’t file an answer by the deadline in this second notice – the hearing officer can, and will, issue a default decision against you. In a default decision, the hearing officer will presume the allegations made by FINRA is valid. In a default decision the findings are taken as an admission, and you in fact violated FINRA rules. As a result you will be fined accordingly, and suspended from working, or barred permanently from working.
Your case will be heard by a 3 person hearing panel. It’s chaired by a FINRA hearing officer. The Chief Hearing Officer appoints 2 industry panelists. Before a hearing officer is appointed to serve on the hearing panel, the Office of Hearing Officers evaluates each candidate to make sure he/she is free, and there is no conflict of interest or circumstances which might tarnish the candidates decision.
If you file an answer and don’t ask for a hearing, the Hearing Panel will decide your case. This hearing panel will give both the Department and you a chance to submit written evidence and arguments. The Hearing Panel then decides the case based on the written submission. It can order an in-person hearing if it believes it will be more helpful. You have the right to represent yourself, but should take an attorney with you. It’s important you have an attorney with you at every step of the process.
You have rights under the FINRA code. The Department has to make available to you for inspection, and copying, documents prepared/obtained by FINRA staff in connection to any investigation which led to the actions taken against you. This includes FINRA requests for info sent to people not employed by FINRA, any document provided in response to the request, any transcripts of testimony taken during the investigation, in addition to all relevant exhibits and transcripts.
It’s highly recommended when you are facing a FINRA disciplinary action, you hire a FINRA disciplinary lawyer to work with you. FINRA hearings are less formal than court and you can get lost without an attorney helping you. At the hearing, parties will make opening statements to the panel. The department will offer evidence, which can include testimony or exhibits. When the department has finished presenting, you can testify yourself, call witnesses, and offer documentary exhibits. The department can question your witnesses and exhibits, and the panel can ask questions about what you present. After both parties finish offering evidence, they will be allowed to offer a closing/final argument.
After the hearing, the Panel will discuss the evidence and reach a decision. Each member of the panel gets one vote. If there’s a disagreement, a majority vote will determine the outcome.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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