Securities Arbitrator

Glossy GavelIt’s not uncommon for people to lose money on stock market investments due to corrupt or negligent broker/dealers. Sometimes, insurance agents sell annuities that are unsuitable for the investor. The rules governing these can be extremely complex. As a result, many individuals rely entirely on information and advice from their brokers or insurance agents. More often than not, unjustified losses result from your investment.

Attorney Joseph H. Spiegel’s background includes assistance to both plaintiffs and defendants. He has helped clients who have fallen victim to investment fraud and abuse, such as Ponzi schemes; “churning;” excessive trading; annuity switching; unauthorized trader; over-concentration; breach of fiduciary duty; lack of supervision; forgery; unsuitability; stock manipulation; and other forms of fraud and broker misconduct. He has also assisted stock brokers and insurance agents with issues of regulatory compliance, employment disputes, and licensing issues.

Mr. Spiegel’s decades of experience makes him a trusted arbitrator.

Types Of Claims in Michigan That May Require Arbitration

“Suitability” Claim

This is the most common type of claim. A broker is required to have reasonable grounds for believing that a recommendation to purchase or sell an investment is suitable for a customer in light of the customer’s other investments, financial situation, needs and objectives. The “Know Your Customer Rule” requires a broker to ask about a customer’s income, expenses, objectives and financial goals prior to making recommendations to purchase, sell or exchange securities.

Unauthorized Trading

A broker is required to obtain permission from an investor prior to executing any orders, unless written permission has been given from the investor to make transactions on his or her behalf without approval. Even in cases where written authorization or power of attorney has been granted, the broker cannot misuse or exceed that authority. Unauthorized trading cases are generally handled in mandatory securities arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Excessive Trading (“Churning”)

Excessive trading in order to generate commissions is known as “churning.” Both the broker and the brokerage firm may be held liable for any losses that result from excessive trading. “Churning” violates the FINRA principle of “quantitative suitability,” detailed in § 2111.05(c). To establish excessive activity, we would consider evidence such as turnover rate, cost equity ratio and other various factors.

Failure to Execute

If you requested an order to be placed on your behalf and a broker failed to execute that order in a timely manner, you may be eligible for compensation. Keep in mind, however, that these situations are often complex. Working with an experienced investment fraud attorney is critical to achieving long-lasting success.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Investment advisers are legally required to place the interests of their clients before the interests of themselves or their firms. This is known as “fiduciary duty.” This doesn’t apply to all client relationships, however, and fiduciary duty must be determined to exist based on facts and circumstance.

Securities Fraud

Securities fraud can range from misleading clients to writing checks made out to the brokers themselves, as well as pushing toxic assets onto investors. Securities fraud covers a wide range of claims in which a broker violates their duties under Michigan state law.


Over-concentration is the failure to adequately diversify an investment portfolio, which can create an excessive risk of loss. If your broker failed to diversify your portfolio, and that failure resulted in a decline in the value of your portfolio, you may be entitled to recovery.

Joseph H. Spiegel PLLC is an independent business lawyer with extensive experience as an arbitrator, mediator and business consultant. To schedule an appointment with Michigan’s trusted business law attorney, call (734) 761-8475.