Hall v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, et. al. ⇒ $1.76 million

The Law Offices of Cary S. Lapidus obtained an arbitration award of $1.76 million for clients who sustained losses in a complex investment known as a Prepaid Variable Forward Contract. The clients also alleged the recommendation of unsuitable investments in their stock portfolio.

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“Cary Lapidus is probably the most well prepared attorney with whom I have ever dealt. He has excellent judgment and understanding of the law. Most important of all, he is highly ethical and those who deal with him know that his word is his bond.“
Paul Dubow
Opposing Counsel & Mediator in Six Cases


Practice Areas

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Securities Litigation

The Law Offices of Cary S. Lapidus’ focus is to recover money for its clients who have been the victims of financial adviser incompetence, breach of fiduciary duties or fraud. The Firm’s work has resulted in a recovery of over $30 million in arbitration awards, judgments and settlements on behalf of hundreds of clients. Mr. Lapidus is recognized as one of the nation’s most effective litigators in the field of securities arbitration. For over 25 years he has represented clients in FINRA, NASD, NYSE and American Arbitration Association proceedings against securities brokerage firms. He has achieved a monetary recovery, either through an award or settlement, on behalf of his clients in well over 90% of the cases in which he has been retained. Many of these recoveries have exceeded $1 million. For a detailed list of these recoveries, please explore the “Case Results” page of this website. For more information about Mr. Lapidus, please click on the “Attorney Profile” page of the website. Among the cases the Firm has successfully handled are cases involving elder financial abuse, unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation of facts, churning, unauthorized trading, margin abuse, lack of diversification, market manipulation, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

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Securities Arbitration

Many of the cases we handle are against stockbrokers and registered investment advisers. Many of these brokers and advisers are members of FINRA. Most of these cases must go to arbitration before FINRA arbitrators because of arbitration provisions contained in customer agreements signed by the brokerage firm's customers at the time the account is opened. Registered investment advisers often include arbitration provisions in their investment advisory agreements with their clients. These cases are typically handled in other arbitration forums such as the American Arbitration Association or JAMS. Our firm has successfully represented clients in securities arbitration matters in all of the major arbitration forums including FINRA, NASD, the NYSE, the Pacific Stock Exchange, JAMS and the American Arbitration Association. These cases typically involve violation of FINRA, SEC or state rules and regulations regarding the offer and sale of an investment. We understand the intricacies the arbitration rules of each forum and how to apply these rules to achieve the best results for each client.

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Expungement Of Form U-5 Language

The Law Offices of Cary S. Lapidus represents registered representatives in negotiating Form U-5 language with securities firms prior to filing, or when necessary, in arbitrations seeking expungement of Form U-5s containing false and defamatory language. Such language can harm a registered representative's reputation and may prevent him/her from obtaining employment with another firm in the securities industry.

The Firm has substantial experience and a proven track record in successfully obtaining relief for registered representatives who have false or inaccurate language placed on their Form U-5. For example, the Firm won expungement relief for a registered representative formerly employed by JP Morgan Securities who was seeking expungement of false and/or defamatory language placed on her Form U-5. After a full evidentiary hearing, a FINRA arbitration panel ordered that the false language be expunged and replaced with language that stated that the registered representative did not violate any rules, regulations or industry standards of conduct and that JP Morgan Chase conducted a deficient investigation concerning the registered representative in connection with her termination. In addition, the FINRA arbitration panel awarded the registered representative $350,000 in compensatory damages. Bourdev v. JPMorgan Securities, FINRA Case No. 14-01086.

In other cases, the Law Offices of Cary S. Lapidus has successfully negotiated the language that securities firms will place on a registered representative's Form U-5 before the Form is filed with FINRA and placed into the CRD system thereby avoiding a time consuming and expensive arbitration proceeding. Often, registered representatives become the subjects of investigations by FINRA's Enforcement Department after negative language is included on their Form U-5s. The Law Offices of Cary S. Lapidus represents financial professionals when they face inquiry, investigation and enforcement actions taken by FINRA and the SEC. This representation includes On-The-Record interviews and testimony as well as negotiations with the regulators to obtain the best result possible through FINRA Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC") and SEC settlements comprising a consent, judgment, injunction or administrative order. Mr. Lapidus' experience and knowledge as a former SEC Enforcement Attorney has allowed him to successfully represent clients in governmental and self-regulatory organizations' investigations and inquiries.

If you are a registered representative with a false or inaccurate disclosure on your Form U-5, contact Cary S. Lapidus at 415-296-7101 or via e-mail at cary.lapidus@gmail.com.

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Elder/Senior Citizen Financial Abuse

Financial elder abuse occurs when people cheat elderly people out of their money or their property. California law defines elderly people as those who are aged 65 or older. Because the elderly are uniquely susceptible to being cheated as they grow older, California's legislature passed the Elder Abuse Act to provide a remedy and financial elder abuse lawsuits for elderly people who have been cheated. Many of these abuses are perpetrated by unscrupulous stockbrokers and investment advisers. Our firm has represented numerous elders in cases involving unsuitable investment recommendations, churning, misrepresentations and omissions of facts, ponzi schemes and insurance products. See our Case Results page for examples of our results in cases involving elders and senior citizens.

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Broker & Financial Advisor Misconduct

Disreputable investment advisors harm clients in a variety of ways. Although they have a duty to make financial recommendations that are in their customers’ best interests, brokers and investment advisors sometimes make decisions that ignore their client’s needs, investments objectives, or risk tolerance, or undertake trades that are aimed at increasing their own commissions rather than protecting and increasing their clients’ wealth. Cary S. Lapidus has a proven track record of helping investors recover substantial losses due to fraud, misrepresentation, account churning and other types of broker misconduct.

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Employment Disputes Involving Securities Professionals

The Firm represents securities professionals in employment disputes against their companies including cases involving compensation disputes, wrongful termination, regulatory matters and Form U-5 issues. In addition to bringing claims for monetary damages on behalf of professionals against their companies, the Firm has assisted employees in the transition from one brokerage company to another by acting as an interface between the companies.

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Expert Witness For Securities-Related Standard of Care Issues and SEC Enforcement Matters

Mr. Lapidus has been retained as an expert witness to advise and testify on matters involving the standard of care of attorneys in securities arbitration cases as well as SEC enforcement and regulatory procedures.

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Complex Commercial Litigation

We represent clients in a variety of securities-related business disputes, including those involving partnerships, breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. The Firm’s focus in this area is primarily representing individuals and small companies.

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Co-Counsel For Attorneys In Securities Arbitration and Litigation Cases

In many cases, attorneys who need assistance trying a case to its conclusion have called upon Mr. Lapidus to serve as co-counsel. In some instances, Mr. Lapidus is retained to provide his experience and expertise at mediation sessions and settlement negotiations. The Firm works with co-counsel on a flexible basis to achieve the best results possible, usually at no additional cost to the client.

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Please contact us for assistance with securities arbitration law, securities litigation, broker misconduct, investment advisor misconduct and investment losses.

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