Stoll Berne co-managing shareholder, Josh Ross, recently represented investors who filed claims against their broker/investment advisor and the firm that employed the broker.
Stoll Berne’s clients claimed that the broker recommended an unsuitable investment strategy to them and that he failed to perform sufficient due diligence in making those recommendations. The broker’s recommended strategy included investment in a series of complicated and overly-concentrated Unit Investment Trusts. The broker also recommended that Stoll Berne’s clients leverage those investments through margin borrowing, in order to pay down personal debts. Within about 18 months of investing, the accounts lost nearly $200,000 in value.
Ross filed a lawsuit in May 2016 against the broker and his employer, a national brokerage firm. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the broker breached his duties to Stoll Berne’s clients and that the firm failed to appropriately supervise the broker. In May 2017, Ross tried the case to a panel of arbitrators in a four day FINRA arbitration. In late June 2017, the panel issued an Award in favor of Stoll Berne’s client, awarding the full amount of the damages sought. All three arbitrators agreed to the amount of damages and, in a written dissent, one of the arbitrators wrote that he would have awarded the full damages plus interest.