Securities arbitration cases are being filed at a much greater pace so far in 2009 than they were in 2007 and 2008. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which administers most of the securities arbitrations filed in the U.S., released its case filing statistics as of April 2009.
According to FINRA’s website, there were 2,403 securities arbitration cases filed at FINRA so far this year. That’s an 81% increase over the same time period in 2008. This news is not surprising. Since the market decline in October 2008 and the exposure of the Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford scandals, securities fraud has become a hot topic. Many investors who may not have known they have potential remedies for abuses in the securities, commodities and hedge fund world, have since reached out to securities attorneys to determine whether they have a case.
Based upon our firm’s increased caseload and anecdotal evidence from other practitioners in this niche market, we expect FINRA case filing numbers to continue to grow, possibly to 2001 and 2002 levels. Unfortunately, due to the great media attention given to the Madoff affair, there are many attorneys now promoting themselves as experts in securities fraud. Investors who think they’ve been wronged should make sure they speak to attorneys who specialize in securities arbitration. Luckily, securities arbitration attorneys may handle cases nationally (and internationally) despite not being licensed in every state so there is a strong pool to choose from. PIABA, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, is a great place to find a securities arbitration practitioner. Check out piaba.org for more information. The FINRA statistics are available at FINRA.org.