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


I want you to know how pleased I am with your professional service regarding my FINRA case. Your prompt communication and attentiveness was and is impressive. Thanks again!
-- Cordell Fisher

Cary was recommended to me by a large international financial institution as being the best securities litigator in Northern California. I am so grateful for that recommendation. From the moment I met him in our initial interview, and throughout the entire course of my lawsuit and mediation, I always felt comfortable under his guidance and expertise. Cary is a man of great integrity and ethics, and at all times he conducted himself with professionalism, calm strength, patience and fairness. Mine was a relatively small case, but he gave it his full attention with passion and commitment, doing extremely thorough research in order to bring justice to the situation. He was always concerned with keeping the costs down. Through his extensive research and experience, he presented what he thought would be the best action to take, giving me what he believed to be a realistic assessment of the best outcome for my case, and he was right on. His admirable negotiating skills are done with grace, dignity, calmness and strength. He is very sincere and I highly recommend him to anyone who needs legal counsel.
-- Cheryl Christiansen

As middle class U.S. citizens, we thought we had done our homework through the NASD concerning the brokers we invested with. To our distress, we found out these companies used the system to defraud us and many others. Cary was a breath of fresh air in an unbearable situation. He was literally our life preserver. There are many ways to describe Cary: his professionalism, ethics, passion for justice and his great arbitration skills, but what meant the most to us was he is truly a caring and decent human being. We would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone who needs legal advice. Our many thanks go out to him.
-- Chet and Betty Smurzynski

Cary Lapidus was referred to me by a prominent NASD lawyer in New York who said Cary was the only NASD lawyer in San Francisco he would recommend. After speaking with several lawyers I decided to retain Cary. One of the primary reasons for doing so was trust. Cary was honest and straightforward about the circumstances of my situation and what I could reasonably expect as an outcome. He was sensitive to costs and made sure I understood the cost/benefit analysis of his legal strategy. I felt Cary was knowledgeable, interested, responsive and sincere in doing everything he could for a successful outcome. The legal system is filled with ambiguity and uncertainty. Dealing with a straight shooter like Cary made the process much more tolerable.
-- Vladimir Belinsky

Dear Cary: It was a pleasure working with you and Mr. Smith on this matter. I am delighted that you were able to settle the case. Based on your skills and your work ethic, I am confident that you received a reasonable settlement from respondents.... Once again, thanks for the opportunity to work with you. You are a real pro. Sincerely, Edward B. Horwitz, Securities Litigation Consultant.
-- Edward Horwitz
Expert Witness

While we are awaiting the results of our case, I wanted to thank you for the amazing work you did for the past year and a half. You were the first and only attorney I consulted with and while I had a gut feeling that you were the one, I still didn't know what to expect. Throughout the course of the case you exceeded all my expectations. After this experience, I now have the utmost respect for what you do and I can see how much hard work goes into it. Not only are you incredibly skillful, talented, smart, patient, experienced and knowledgeable, but you are a true partner who believed in me and guided me through a difficult time. I feel so lucky to have found you! Thank you again for all the hard work! I wish you all the best!
-- K. Bourdev

Cary Lapidus made our first (and hopefully only) experience in our case against one of the largest US financial investment advisors a successful one. Not only did his careful and meticulous preparation result in a sizeable award in our favor, but his personal support and empathy throughout the year- long process reduced what would otherwise have been a stressful and painful undertaking. We were referred to Cary as one of a number of competent attorneys to evaluate and represent us. After interviewing all of them, we initially chose Cary because we felt he best understood our situation, realistically represented and laid out the risks and potential of our case, and above all was someone who we simply felt we could trust and work with. In what seemed to us as a David vs Goliath case against our brokers, Cary guided such a thorough preparation and execution of our case that it caused the financial institution to seek mediation prior to arbitration. During mediation, Cary again skillfully guided the process to result in a sizeable award which surpassed our expectations, and saved us the expense, time, and risk of arbitration. Most importantly, we felt Cary obtained for us a rightful penalty for our brokers for their negligence and misrepresentations. Both my wife and I would recommend Cary not only as tremendously skilled attorney, but also as a person with integrity, ethics, and a great sense of 'what is right.'
-- E. and S. van Boer

I first met Cary Lapidus 20 years ago when we were asked by the American Arbitration Association to explain the Association's new securities arbitration rules to securities trial attorneys. Subsequently, we were adversaries in securities litigation. Since I became a full time mediator in 2001, I have mediated six matters in which he represented the plaintiffs. He is probably the most well prepared attorney with whom I have ever dealt, he has excellent judgment and understanding of the law which, among other things, causes his opponents to recognize that they will have a difficult case to defend, and, 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 and Mediator

Cary Lapidus is an excellent attorney. His knowledge, judgment and professionalism were extremely valuable to me during a difficult time. I highly recommend Cary for legal advice and representation.
-- Michael Marchi



Recently, I was fortunate to have Cary Lapidus represent me as the Claimant in a FINRA arbitration. The period related to the dispute is over six years and there were more than 50,000 pages of documents provided by the Respondents. Cary was able to take this enormous amount of material, and organize it into a concise, understandable and persuasive presentation of the relevant facts. He was extremely effective in both direct and cross examination. He is also unfailingly professional and responsive. It was a pleasure to deal with him. I can enthusiastically recommend him to anyone in need of a capable and effective legal advocate.
-- S. Charters

Dear Cary: We wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Whether we win or lose our case we know that you did just an incredible job representing us. Your dedication, intelligence and thoroughness were beyond our greatest hope. We certainly didn't have the largest case but you treated our case with passion, professionalism and care. You were brilliant. You are a great lawyer and a great person. Words can't express the depths of our feelings. Thank you.
-- Robert and Christine Mitchell

Thank you, Cary. We feel a great connection has been made and that although distance will be coming between us we will always be connected.... This has been quite a battle we all went through together... We are most indebted to you, Cary. We could never have done this without you.
-- Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Hall

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Cary Lapidus for helping us to achieve a decision in our favor against one of the world's largest investment firms. Cary's vast amount of knowledge and experience was definitely the key to our winning an award. Cary is not only very professional and honest, he also cares about his clients. We would strongly recommend Cary for your case.
-- Michael and Tanis Coutant

Judge Cahill made the comment that the presentations he saw at our hearing were the best he had seen in 13 years as an arbitrator. What a professional compliment that was, especially in light of the Judge's decision and award!!!!!! We are all very grateful for your wonderful work! You are the embodiment of the highest level of professionalism and competence. What a great win!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
-- G. Ozag

Reading the Wall Street Journal, I learned about Cary Lapidus. He just won a case against a securities brokerage firm for a client that lost money on a product that I had purchased from them. Prior to this article, I wasn't sure what I should do because I had lost money on the products they sold me and I felt they did not give me the proper information at the time of purchase. Once I read about Cary, I visited his web site and noticed that every testimonial said so many positive things about him, even if they were half true, or overblown, they gave me the confidence that he was the right person to handle my case. If you are reading this, then you have read some if not all the testimonials. Everything you have read about him is 100% true. I was so impressed by the way he handled me and my case. He was well prepared, professional, accessible , thorough, hardworking and I could go on and on. I worked on Wall Street for 35 years including as the President of several Wall Street Banks. In that capacity, I had interaction with some of the best law firms in the world and Cary was better than anyone I worked with. Just for the record, we won my case because of the great job he did.
-- James Zeigon

Dear Cary: Thank you again for the absolutely splendid work you did on our behalf. We are most grateful for the settlement you obtained for us. We appreciate as well the standard of professionalism you applied in the process.
-- Richard Rigg

What a comprehensive effort from start to finish, Cary!!
-- G. Bolton

He is one of the great ones. So straightforward, so direct, so well prepared, so powerful in his presentation..you would be hard pressed to find a better advocate to plead your case.
-- Robert D. Links, Esq.
Arbitrator in two of Lapidus' cases

Cary took my case on the principle that big brokerage firms should not be allowed to take advantage of women under duress during traumatic life events. Two years into my contentious divorce settlement mediation with an 'all or nothing' verdict in the final court hearing balance, I was cold-called by a financial advisor of a large brokerage firm who insisted he could earn more with my provisional divorce settlement funds than my bank account. When I tried to recover my losses the brokerage firm washed their hands of responsibility, ignoring that they had caught me at an emotionally stressful time when I should not have been investing in anything risky or long-term. A man of principle, Cary Lapidus took my case and persevered to success through the mediation with the brokerage company even though Cary had much bigger opportunities to choose from.
-- Tammy L. McClure

Cary achieved a fantastic arbitration reward for me through a combination of extremely patient and diligent work presented to the arbitrator in calm, reasonable and honest explanations. His guidance on the legal and strategic decisions was dead on. He was always available to me even for minor questions and lengthy exploratory sessions. I interviewed 11 lawyers in the Bay area prior to settling on Cary and if I ever run into a situation where I need legal advice again the first person I would call is Cary Lapidus.
-- David Teller


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or assoicated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, and attorney-client relationship. Cary S. Lapidus is an inactive member of the California State Bar and does not render legal advice nor provide legal services of any kind.