FINRA Arbitration for CIP Leveraged Funds

Many clients of brokerage firms like Sigma Financial, Dain Rauscher, US Allianz Securities, Ameritas, Pacific Cornerstone don’t recall but at the time the account was opened with their brokerage firm, the client contractually agreed to have any disputes heard through binding arbitration. The CIP Leveraged Fund arbitration process is administered through an organization called FINRA (formerly called NASD). For over almost 30 years, clients of brokerage firms have had claims decided through FINRA by a panel of three arbitrators. If a client files a lawsuit in court against his or her brokerage firm for CIP losses, the judge will compel the case to arbitration instead because of the binding arbitration clause in the new account agreement. FINRA arbitration is usually faster and cheaper than traditional court house litigation.

We are a Chicago based law firm that exclusively concentrates its practice in representing investors nationally in lawsuits and arbitration claims against major brokerage firms, insurance companies and registered investment advisors. We have represented over 1000 investors and have recovered millions for investment fraud including unsuitable investment recommendations, churning, misrepresentions and omissions and other violations of the federal and state securities laws.

Andrew Stoltmann the principal owner, is currently on the Board of Directors for the Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), an international bar association of attorneys whose members represent investors in disputes with the securities industry.  He was the Editor-In-Chief of the PIABA Bar Journal from 2001 through 2005. Mr. Stoltmann also co-authored the book “Investor Rights for the Year 2000 and Beyond.”

He was voted an Illinois legal Rising Star from 2008 through 2012 and voted a 2014 Super Lawyer by his legal peers. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Mr. Stoltmann worked as a licensed stockbroker for Olde Discount and Merrill Lynch. While in law school at DePaul University, Mr. Stoltmann clerked at the Chicago NASD Dispute Resolution office (now called FINRA), where 95% of securities arbitration cases are decided.

Mr. Stoltmann has appeared as a guest providing legal opinions, commentary and analysis on CNN, CNBC, BBC, CBC, CBS, CNN-FN, Bloomberg TV and National Public Radio (please see Stoltmann in The News). Mr. Stoltmann has been quoted in various publications worldwide including the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Kiplinger’s, Jerusalem Post, London Post, London Free Press, The Guardian (UK), Daily Telegraph of London, Montreal Gazette, MaClean’s, Calgary Herald, Toronto Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo), China Daily (Beijing), Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), National Post, and The Scotsman (Edinburgh).

Mr. Stoltmann is a member of PIABA (Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association), ATLA (Association of Trial Lawyers of America), the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

We work on a contingency fee relationship of 35%. This means, our fee is 35% of the amount we recover. If we do not recover, the client is not responsible for any attorney fees. FINRA does require clients to pay an upfront filing fee at the time the FINRA arbitration claim is filed. The client is obligated to pay this fee at the time of filing. The amount of the filing fee depends on the size of the client’s investment losses. The fees with FINRA run anywhere from $475 for a claim between $10,000 to $25,000 up to $1,800 for claims over $1 million. Edit Text
We handle cases all across the country. In some states, we are required to have local counsel as well but this does not cost the investor any additional money.

The minimum amount of the investment losses needed to pursue an arbitration lawsuit through Stoltmann Law Offices is $50,000. We represent clients on contingency fee basis of 33%. This means if we don’t recover, the client does not owe any attorney fees. Since all brokerage accounts have a binding arbitration clause, all claims are decided in binding arbitration and not in court. The organization that administers the arbitration process (FINRA) has certain filing fees that must be paid. These are not fees charged by Stoltmann Law Offices but rather are fees charged by the arbitration body. Unfortunately, not much can be done about these fees. The fees range between $400 to as high as $1700

If we win, there are also expenses to be paid by the client. These expenses are low if the case settles prior to hearing. If an arbitration hearing is necessary, the expenses cover the exhibit books, costs associated with trying the case and other similar expenses. These can run as high as $10,000.