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Facing FINRA Disciplinary Proceedings? A Miami Defense Attorney Can Help

April 24, 2024

You’ve Been Hit With a FINRA Disciplinary Proceeding, Now What?

So, you find yourself staring down the barrel of a FINRA disciplinary action – it’s an intimidating situation, no doubt. But, take a deep breath, we’re here to guide you through this, step-by-step. At Spodek Law Group, we understand the confusion and stress this process can cause, which is why we leave no stone unturned in building a robust defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.

Understanding the Basics

First things first, let’s demystify what exactly a FINRA disciplinary proceeding entails. FINRA, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is a self-regulatory organization that oversees the conduct of broker-dealers and their associated persons. So, if you’re a broker, investment banker, or work in the securities industry – FINRA has the authority to initiate disciplinary actions against you for alleged violations of their rules and regulations.Now, these alleged violations can range from relatively minor infractions, like recordkeeping issues or failure to supervise, all the way up to serious offenses such as fraud, misrepresentation, or mishandling of client funds. Regardless of the severity, one thing’s for certain – you need a tenacious legal team in your corner, ready to fight tooth and nail to protect your rights and livelihood.

The Process, Broken Down

So, what does the FINRA disciplinary process actually look like? Well, it typically begins with an investigation, where FINRA staff will gather evidence and testimony related to the alleged misconduct. If they believe a violation has occurred, they’ll issue a disciplinary complaint, outlining the specific charges against you.From there, the case proceeds to a hearing before a FINRA disciplinary panel, comprised of two industry professionals and one hearing officer. Now, this is where things get serious – the panel will review the evidence, hear testimony, and ultimately decide whether you’re guilty of the alleged violations. If found guilty, they’ll impose sanctions, which can range from fines and suspensions to permanent bars from the industry.But, here’s the kicker – you have the right to appeal any disciplinary decision to FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), and even further to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and federal courts if necessary. It’s a complex and multi-layered process, which is why having a skilled FINRA defense attorney by your side is absolutely crucial.

Your Rights, Our Expertise

At Spodek Law Group, we understand the intricacies of FINRA disciplinary proceedings inside and out. We know the rules, the players, and the strategies needed to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf. Our team has extensive experience representing brokers, investment advisors, and other financial professionals in FINRA matters, and we’re not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the regulators to protect your interests.But, our approach goes beyond just legal expertise – we’re committed to providing you with the personalized attention and support you deserve during this stressful time. We’ll take the time to understand your unique situation, and craft a tailored defense strategy that addresses the specific charges and evidence against you.

A Proven Track Record

Don’t just take our word for it, though – our results speak for themselves. We’ve successfully defended clients against a wide range of FINRA charges, from suitability violations and unauthorized trading to more serious allegations of fraud and misrepresentation.For example, we recently represented a broker who was facing a permanent bar from the industry for allegedly mishandling client funds. Through meticulous investigation and skilled advocacy, we were able to negotiate a settlement that allowed our client to keep their license and continue working in the industry.In another case, we defended an investment advisor against allegations of unsuitable recommendations and failure to supervise. Our team thoroughly analyzed the complex financial products at issue, and presented a compelling defense that ultimately resulted in a significant reduction of the proposed sanctions.These are just a few examples of the many victories we’ve achieved for our clients in FINRA disciplinary matters. But, what truly sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to fighting for the best possible outcome in every single case we take on.

A Hands-On Approach

At Spodek Law Group, we pride ourselves on our hands-on approach to every case. We don’t just rely on cookie-cutter strategies or take shortcuts – we roll up our sleeves and do the hard work necessary to build a winning defense.This means thoroughly investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, leaving no stone unturned in our pursuit of exculpatory evidence. It means meticulously analyzing the complex financial products, transactions, and regulations at issue, and developing a deep understanding of the nuances that could make or break your case.It also means being proactive and strategic in our approach, anticipating the moves of FINRA’s enforcement staff and developing counter-strategies to neutralize their arguments. We’re not afraid to take calculated risks or explore unconventional defenses if it means giving you the best chance at a favorable outcome.

A Collaborative Effort

But, our hands-on approach extends beyond just our legal work – it’s a collaborative effort that involves you, the client, every step of the way. We believe in open and transparent communication, keeping you informed and engaged throughout the entire process.We’ll take the time to explain the legal issues and potential consequences in plain language, so you can make informed decisions about your case. We’ll also solicit your input and insights, as you’re the one who truly understands the intricacies of your business and the circumstances surrounding the alleged violations.This collaborative approach not only empowers you to be an active participant in your own defense, but it also allows us to develop a more comprehensive and effective strategy tailored to your unique needs and goals.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

A Nationwide Reach

While our offices are based in New York City and Los Angeles, our reach extends nationwide. We’ve successfully represented clients in FINRA disciplinary proceedings across the country, leveraging our extensive network of legal resources and expertise to provide top-notch representation no matter where you’re located.Whether you’re a broker in Chicago, an investment advisor in Miami, or a financial professional in San Francisco – we have the capability and experience to handle your FINRA case with the same level of dedication and skill.

The Bottom Line

Facing a FINRA disciplinary proceeding can be a daunting and overwhelming experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At Spodek Law Group, we’re more than just legal representatives – we’re your partners, your advocates, and your unwavering allies in the fight to protect your career and reputation.We understand the high stakes involved, and we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Whether it’s negotiating a favorable settlement, mounting an aggressive defense at a disciplinary hearing, or pursuing appeals all the way to the federal courts, we have the expertise, resources, and tenacity to take on even the most complex FINRA cases.So, if you find yourself facing the prospect of a FINRA disciplinary action, don’t hesitate – reach out to us today for a confidential consultation. Let us be your guiding light through this challenging process, and together, we’ll navigate the legal landscape with confidence and determination.Remember, at Spodek Law Group, every single client deserves honesty, white-glove service, and an unwavering commitment to achieving justice. It’s not just our job, it’s our passion, and we’re ready to fight for you.

Navigating the Complexities: A Comprehensive Guide

Now that you have a general understanding of what a FINRA disciplinary proceeding entails, let’s dive deeper into the intricate details and nuances of this process. Knowledge, as they say, is power – and in the legal realm, a comprehensive grasp of the rules and procedures can mean the difference between success and failure.

The Investigation Phase

Before any formal charges are filed, FINRA’s enforcement staff will conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged misconduct. This can involve requesting documents, taking sworn testimony (known as “on-the-record” interviews), and gathering evidence from various sources.During this phase, it’s crucial to have legal representation to protect your rights and ensure that you don’t inadvertently make statements or provide information that could be used against you later on. Our team at Spodek Law Group will work closely with you to prepare for any interviews or document productions, and provide guidance on how to navigate this delicate stage of the process.

The Disciplinary Complaint

If FINRA’s enforcement staff believes they have sufficient evidence of a violation, they’ll issue a disciplinary complaint outlining the specific charges against you. This document is essentially the legal equivalent of an indictment, and it sets the stage for the formal disciplinary proceedings.Upon receiving a disciplinary complaint, you’ll have a limited window of time to respond and request a hearing before a FINRA disciplinary panel. This is where our expertise truly shines – we’ll carefully analyze the complaint, identify any potential weaknesses or defenses, and craft a comprehensive response strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.

The Disciplinary Hearing

The disciplinary hearing is the centerpiece of the FINRA disciplinary process, where the evidence and arguments from both sides will be presented before a panel of industry professionals and a hearing officer. This is your opportunity to mount a vigorous defense and challenge the allegations against you.Our team will meticulously prepare for the hearing, crafting a compelling narrative and marshaling all available evidence and witness testimony to support your case. We’ll also anticipate and counter the arguments and tactics of FINRA’s enforcement staff, ensuring that no stone is left unturned in our pursuit of a favorable outcome.

Potential Sanctions

If the disciplinary panel finds you guilty of the alleged violations, they’ll impose sanctions that can range from monetary fines and suspensions to permanent bars from the industry. The severity of the sanctions will depend on the nature and severity of the violations, as well as any mitigating or aggravating factors.However, even in the face of adverse findings, our work is far from over. We’ll explore all available options for appealing the decision, whether it’s to FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or even federal courts if necessary.

Settlements and Negotiated Resolutions

It’s important to note that not all FINRA disciplinary proceedings have to go through the full hearing process. In many cases, it may be advantageous to explore settlement options or negotiated resolutions, particularly if the evidence against you is strong or if the potential sanctions are relatively minor.Our team has extensive experience in negotiating favorable settlements with FINRA’s enforcement staff, often resulting in reduced sanctions or alternative disciplinary measures that allow our clients to continue working in the industry. We’ll carefully weigh the pros and cons of settlement versus proceeding to a hearing, and provide you with our candid advice on the best course of action.

Ancillary Consequences

Beyond the direct sanctions imposed by FINRA, a disciplinary action can also have far-reaching ancillary consequences that can impact your career and livelihood. For example, a FINRA bar or suspension may trigger reciprocal actions by state securities regulators, effectively preventing you from working in the industry nationwide.Additionally, FINRA disciplinary actions can have reputational implications, potentially making it difficult to find employment or maintain existing client relationships. Our team will work proactively to mitigate these ancillary consequences, exploring options for expungement or minimizing the public disclosure of disciplinary actions where appropriate.

Ongoing Compliance and Risk Management

Even after a FINRA disciplinary matter has been resolved, it’s essential to implement robust compliance and risk management protocols to avoid future regulatory scrutiny. Our firm can provide guidance and support in developing and implementing effective policies, procedures, and training programs to ensure ongoing adherence to FINRA rules and regulations.We’ll also work with you to identify and address any potential areas of risk or vulnerability within your business practices, helping you to stay ahead of the curve and avoid potential regulatory pitfalls down the line.

A Trusted Partner

Navigating the complexities of a FINRA disciplinary proceeding can be a daunting and overwhelming task, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Spodek Law Group, we’re more than just legal representatives – we’re your trusted partners, dedicated to guiding you through every step of this intricate process with unwavering commitment and expertise.Our team has a deep understanding of the nuances and intricacies of FINRA’s rules and procedures, and we leverage this knowledge to craft tailored defense strategies that address the unique challenges of your case. From the initial investigation phase to potential appeals and ongoing compliance, we’ll be by your side, providing the personalized attention and support you deserve.But, our commitment goes beyond just legal expertise – we’re passionate advocates for our clients, fighting tirelessly to protect their rights, their careers, and their reputations. We understand the high stakes involved in FINRA disciplinary matters, and we’ll leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the best possible outcome for you.So, if you find yourself facing the daunting prospect of a FINRA disciplinary action, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Let us be your guiding light through this complex process, leveraging our extensive experience and unwavering dedication to ensure that your interests are protected every step of the way.Remember, at Spodek Law Group, we’re more than just attorneys – we’re your partners, your advocates, and your unwavering allies in the fight for justice and fair treatment within the financial industry.

Empowering You: Knowledge is Your Greatest Defense

In the realm of FINRA disciplinary proceedings, knowledge truly is power. Understanding the intricacies of the process, the potential consequences, and your rights as a financial professional can mean the difference between a successful defense and a career-altering outcome.At Spodek Law Group, we believe in empowering our clients with the knowledge and insights they need to navigate this complex legal landscape with confidence. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to demystifying the FINRA disciplinary process, breaking it down into digestible components that you can easily understand.

The Anatomy of a FINRA Violation

Let’s start with the basics – what constitutes a FINRA violation? FINRA’s rulebook is a vast and intricate document, covering everything from ethical standards and supervisory responsibilities to specific regulations governing trading practices and financial product offerings.Common violations can range from relatively minor infractions, such as recordkeeping deficiencies or failure to properly supervise employees, to more serious offenses like fraud, misrepresentation, or mishandling of client funds.Regardless of the severity of the alleged violation, it’s crucial to understand the specific rules and regulations at play, as well as the potential consequences you may face if found guilty. Our team will work closely with you to dissect the charges, identify any potential defenses or mitigating factors, and develop a comprehensive strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.

Understanding the Burden of Proof

In FINRA disciplinary proceedings, the burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of FINRA’s enforcement staff. They must present clear and convincing evidence to support the alleged violations, a higher standard than the “preponderance of the evidence” typically required in civil cases.However, this burden of proof can be a double-edged sword. While it provides a level of protection for respondents, it also means that FINRA’s enforcement staff will likely come prepared with a substantial body of evidence and testimony to meet this heightened standard.Our team will meticulously analyze and challenge the evidence presented by FINRA, identifying any weaknesses or inconsistencies that can be exploited to cast doubt on their case. We’ll also work to present compelling counter-evidence and witness testimony to bolster your defense and tip the scales in your favor.

The Role of Mitigating and Aggravating Factors

Even if FINRA’s enforcement staff is able to meet their burden of proof, the severity of the potential sanctions can be influenced by various mitigating and aggravating factors. These factors can range from your disciplinary history and the nature of the violation, to the extent of customer harm or financial gain resulting from the misconduct.Our team will carefully evaluate these factors and develop strategies to highlight any mitigating circumstances that may warrant a more lenient outcome. Conversely, we’ll also work to counter any aggravating factors that FINRA may attempt to use to justify harsher sanctions.

Understanding the Appeals Process

If the disciplinary panel ultimately finds you guilty of the alleged violations, the battle is far from over. You have the right to appeal the decision through a multi-tiered process, starting with FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), and potentially escalating to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and even federal courts.Each level of appeal presents its own unique challenges and procedural nuances, which is why having an experienced legal team by your side is crucial. We’ll guide you through the intricate appeals process, crafting compelling legal arguments and leveraging our extensive knowledge of securities law to give you the best possible chance of a favorable outcome.

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

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JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

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ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

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CLAIRE BANKS

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RAJESH BARUA

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CHAD LEWIN

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