Investor Advocacy Clinic Sues to Recover Damages for its Elderly Partially Disabled Client

September 8, 2016 — On July 31, 2016, Director Robert A. Uhl and James A. Astuno Jr., a California Bar Certified law student and Straus Institute Certificate in Dispute Resolution candidate, filed an arbitration claim with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Dispute Resolution on behalf of a partially disabled 85 year old retired teacher to recover compensatory and punitive damages from a brokerage firm and its broker for mismanagement of her investments and for charging her excessive fees.

The Investor Advocacy Clinic’s arbitration claim alleges, among other things, that the brokerage firm and its broker committed elder abuse and breached its fiduciary duty to the Clinic’s client by recommending and purchasing unsuitable illiquid variable annuities and charging excessive and redundant advisory fees which drained the value of her retirement annuities.

During the 2016 fall semester, the Investor Advocacy Clinic Bar certified law students, under supervision of Director Robert A. Uhl, will learn critical lawyering skills while preparing another arbitration case for hearing before FINRA Dispute Resolution scheduled for January 3 through January 7, 2017. The Investor Advocacy Clinic filed the case on February 9, 2016, on behalf of an elderly retired special needs teacher to recover her life savings and punitive damages from a national brokerage firm for its mismanagement of her investment account. The arbitration claim alleges, among other claims, that the brokerage firm and its broker committed elder abuse and breached its fiduciary duty to the Clinic’s client by recommending and purchasing speculative, volatile oil and gas securities, including a complex synthetic structured product.

Straus Institute’s Investor Advocacy Clinic does not charge attorney fees. It is the only FINRA funded Clinic to win every arbitration case tried by the Clinic and no FINRA funded Clinic has had more wins or recovered more money for its clients.

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