For the most part, if you have a claim against your broker or brokerage firm, it will need to be resolved by a FINRA arbitration panel. This is because the vast majority of modern brokerage agreements contain a mandatory arbitration provision, and these provisions are almost always upheld by the courts.
If you are bringing a securities claim against your broker or broker-dealer, it is imperative that you have the best FINRA arbitration attorney by your side.
You need strong legal representation so that you can recover full compensation for your investment losses. To support your claim, your lawyer may bring in an expert witness to testify. When utilized properly, expert witnesses can provide very valuable support your case
Securities Claims: What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is a person who has some type of specialized, often highly technical knowledge or experience that is relevant to the case at hand. In securities fraud claims that go in front of FINRA arbitration panels, an expert witness may be used in a variety of different ways.
Though, typically, these witnesses are brought into explain and analyze the complicated details relating to a specific issue. A good expert witness is able to break down a complicated issue in a manner that makes sense to an ordinary person. As securities fraud and broker negligence claims often revolve around complex financial or technical matters, expert witnesses are frequently relied upon in these cases.
Expert Witnesses Play Several Different Roles in Securities Claims
In securities arbitration cases, expert witnesses are used to help bring clarity to many different types of issues. Certainly, before you hire an expert witness to testify on your behalf, it is imperative that you have a full understanding of the specific issues that will be at stake in your claim. Your FINRA arbitration lawyer will be able to help you with this. Depending on the issues at stake in your case, your lawyer may employ an expert witness to do any of the following:
- Analyze the due diligence (or lack thereof) that the broker performed on the financial products sold;
- Provide testimony about the specific financial product in question;
- Evaluate the risk level of your overall portfolio, including your level of investment concentration;
- Assess the sales and marketing practices of your broker and your brokerage firm;
- Analyze and review the supervision of sales representatives by the broker-dealer;
- Conduct a forensic evaluation of accounting and financial reports; and
- Provide testimony to the valuation of your damages.
Regardless of the specific facts of your case, it is important to note that expert witnesses can be used to build any part of your case. In some cases, an expert witness will be brought in simply to establish the validly of one specific fact that is relevant to your wider claim. In other cases, you may need to rely on an expert witness to establish liability. Finally, some expert witnesses are only brought in for the purposes of valuing of an investor’s financial damages.
Who Can Act as an Expert Witness Before a FINRA Arbitration Panel?
In securities claims, expert witnesses come from many different backgrounds. For example, the best available expert for your specific type of case could be any of the following:
- An academic: In some cases, your lawyer will seek testimony from an academic expert who has deep experience with a certain methodological approach, such as a statistical analysis expert, or considerable experience with the specifics of a particular financial product, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs).
- A broker: Practitioners in a field can also be useful experts in security claims. Generally, when this type of expert is employed, it is to testify to the standard practices that are typically used within the industry.
- A professional expert: Finally, there are also professional experts that testify in these types of cases. A professional expert is an individual who has devoted their career to learning about a specific practice or industry, and works largely as a consultant or witness.
Will I Need an Expert Witness for My Case?
If you are going through FINRA arbitration, you might need an expert witness to testify on your behalf. In fact, you may even need multiple expert witnesses on your side. Ultimately, that is a decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis. An attorney should review the specific facts of your claim, investigating your case before deciding whether or not to employ an expert witness.
Indeed, determining whether or not an expert witness is required is a complex question. To answer it, your attorney will need to decide whether or not the facts in your case are easy to understand. If there are any complicated or sophisticated technical issues involved in your claim, it is generally a good idea to get supporting testimony from a qualified expert witness.
FINRA Arbitration Rules: Expert Witnesses Must Be Identified 20 Days Prior to the Hearing
Under FINRA’s Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes (Rule 12514), all parties to a dispute are obligated to exchange certain information at least 20 days prior to their first FINRA arbitration hearing.
Among the information that must be exchanged with the opposing party is the identity of all witnesses, including any expert witness that a party plans to call during the proceedings. Among other reasons, this is why it is important to get moving on your case as soon as possible. You should not wait until the last minute to find and prepare expert witnesses for your claim.
Contact Our Top-Rated Investment Fraud Attorneys Today
At Sonn Law Group, our securities fraud lawyers have extensive experience representing investors before FINRA arbitration panels. We know how to use expert witnesses effectively so that we can prove liability in your case and help you maximize your financial recovery. To set up a free, no strings attached review of your case, please call us now at (877) 872-5272 or contact us through our website. We represent investors in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and South America.