A large part of my practice over the years has involved litigation. Typical of any young lawyer, there are two primary problems facing a sole practitioner starting in litigation practice. The first is getting clients. The second is knowing how to handle a legal case or project. As to the second problem, I mention this because law school does not teach students how to be a lawyer. Rather, it teaches students about the law. A law student does not see an agreement of sale, legal pleadings, a will or any of the other documents that become a lawyer’s stock in trade. Strange but true.
The key to developing the “how to become an effective lawyer” I found to lie in seeking guidance and mentoring from experienced practitioners. Without this type of help I would never have been able to progress in my law practice. I have thanked these individuals many times, and do so again now without mentioning their names.
Turning to the title of this blog, I thought it might be interesting to note some of the cases I have been involved in since starting practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1992. The first kinds of cases involved securities fraud. Drawing on my experience as a law clerk in Washington, D.C. working for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission I was able to get referred to me a number of securities fraud, broker malfeasance cases. These included the sale of unregistered and unsuitable securities and churning of investment accounts with no legitimate investment goal. I have helped many securities fraud victims, who were unwittingly sold such things as enhanced automobile receivables, shares of telephone booths, phony limited partnership interests, and the like.
Securities fraud cases are difficult because in most instances victims are required to prosecute their cases in unfriendly arbitration forums that generally have arbitrators who are more inclined to accept the broker’s version of the truth, which is usually highly suspect. I have found the key to success in these cases is to “work up” the case in the most comprehensive way possible at the front end and then to present a reasonable settlement demand that reflects the risks of litigation. Most of my securities fraud cases have resulted in fair settlements.
If you have been the victim of securities fraud, or otherwise need an experienced, aggressive attorney to represent you in court or in arbitration, please feel free to contact me. I am here to listen and help. I do not charge for initial consultations.