Martindale-Hubbell® "AV" Peer-Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence.
We represent investors who have suffered losses due to dishonest practices by financial advisers, insurance agents, brokerage houses and investment sponsors. During the past thirty-four years, we have represented thousands of clients in state and federal courts and in FINRA/NASD arbitration proceedings. Our clients have been the victims of Account Mismanagement, Churning, Non-Disclosure, Misrepresentation, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Penny Stock Fraud, Over-Concentration, Price Manipulation, and the Recommendation of Unsuitable Investments. Many of the cases we have handled involved Ponzi Schemes in which the participants are ultimately sent to prison or file bankruptcy. In these types of cases, we have argued that the brokerage houses that recommended the investment failed to conduct Due Diligence into the risks of the investment and, for this reason, should be held liable for investor losses under a negligence theory. In the past 12 years, we have handled more and more cases in which fraud has been used to sell variable insurance products, such as variable universal life insurance and variable annuities. These products represent a combination of life insurance on the life of the investor and mutual fund subaccounts and they are often sold as either an estate planning device or a form of retirement planning. However, in many cases, the real reason for the sale is that the sales person receives a huge commission, the amount of which is concealed. The existence of a huge secret sales commission creates a very serious conflict of interest between the salesman and the client, which can lead to fraud when the sales person is acting under the guise of being an expert financial adviser. If the adviser fails to accurately describe the risks and benefits of the investment to client or if the investment is unsuitable, the investor may have valuable legal rights against not only the adviser, but also against the brokerage house and insurance company involved in the sale. Our firm has amassed considerable know how in this type of case through years of litigation against some of the biggest insurance companies and brokerages houses in America.
Our firm handles cases of Elder Abuse involving financial fraud or breach of fiduciary duty, as well as undue influence exercised in the making of a will, trust or other testamentary instrument. Studies have shown that the Elderly are more vulnerable to fraud and dishonesty because they have a diminished capacity to detect dishonesty in others and are forced, due to their lessening capabilities, to place greater reliance upon others to manage their affairs. The perpetrator of Elder Abuse may be a family member, neighbor, caretaker, or financial adviser. California law provides that in cases of Elder Abuse the victim may recover attorney's fees and treble damages in the case of intentional fraudulent or malicious conduct.
Our firm has represented excluded heirs in lawsuits seeking additional compensation from Probate proceedings and defended heirs against such claims in Court. If you have doubts about whether you may have a valid claim against the estate of a deceased family member, or if you are the subject of a lawsuit designed to set aside a transfer to you by a parent who has passed, please feel free to email or call with your question.