Shareholder Sean Sweeney explains why you should seek out an expert witness for your FINRA arbitration.

Why do I need an expert witness for my FINRA arbitration?

  • Your lawyer cannot testify, so an expert is needed to explain the duties of the Financial Advisor and how they were breached.
  • They add credibility to your case.
  • They typically are former financial advisors themselves.
  • They can explain issues to the panel well.
  • They are familiar with the standard of care for your Financial Advisor.

Most cases do benefit from having an expert witness in your FINRA arbitration. The reason is, that what we’re trying to prove, is that a financial advisor breached their duty of care, their standard of care, what they were supposed to do. And the lawyers, we are knowledgeable about what those duties are, we can brief the panel before the hearing about what those duties might be, and how the law sets forth. But we don’t get to testify at the hearing, we only get to ask questions and then make a closing argument. But what that means is, that we need some conduit, we need some person through who which we can ask questions about what exactly were they supposed to do? What was that supposed to look like? Why was the investments that they recommended or purchased in this claimants account inappropriate for them? Why was it unsuitable? Why did it cause them a harm? And also we need somebody who can opine on what that harm is? How are you damaged? How do you calculate that? What would have happened if they’ve been invested appropriately? And so we use for expert witnesses to provide that service.

These are people who have experience in the industry. Typically, they have been either formerly financial advisors themselves, often times they have supervisory experience where they had a role at broker dealers in supervising other financial advisors. And they come to the hearing and they testify about what should have happened in your account, what was appropriate, how it is at the financial advisor in your case may have breached that duty, and then how you were damaged by it. Those experts are paid for their service that they’re not allowed to work on any kind of a contingent fee. And so they’re paid for what they do and they provide that testimony at your hearing. So while it’s not absolutely necessary in every case to have an expert, in my experience almost every case benefits from having an expert witness to really explain the issues the panel and make sure they understand how it is that the financial advisor may have breached their duty, and how it is that you were damaged by it.”

The Securities Lawyers practice group at Halling & Cayo, S.C. can help. We take cases all over the country, and we only get paid if we win. Contact us to set up a meeting to review your case.