Joe Osborne & Greg Francis, Personal Injury Lawyers & Founders of Osborne & Francis

Securities Litigation

Legally Reviewed By
Joseph Osborne

Investing is a smart way to earn income in the long run. But the industry is rife with the potential for fraud and other misdeeds. Every year, some financial professionals or businesses take advantage of retail investor’s trust and lack of expertise. In response, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) acts to enforce the law, and private individuals like you must fight for compensation.

In the 2019 fiscal year, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement brought 862 actions, imposing $1.01 billion in penalties and ordering parties to give up $3.248 billion of illegally obtained profits. The same year, the SEC returned almost $1.2 billion to harmed investors.

If you’re an investor who’s lost money because of an unethical stockbroker, brokerage firm, or another financial professional, talk with a securities litigation attorney at Osborne & Francis. It’s time to find out if you have the right to bring a legal claim against that person or business, and if so, how much your case might be worth.

Call Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600 to speak with one of our highly respected Florida attorneys.

Video Transcript

So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:

Number One: See a doctor immediately. 

A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.

A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care. 

Number Two: Write everything down.

Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain. 

You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered. 

Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.

Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them. 

So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.

What Is Securities Litigation?

Securities litigation is a broad area of law encompassing disputes related to securities, such as debt, equity, derivatives, and hybrids, traded on the open market. If you are an investor, you may already be familiar with stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Securities are highly regulated to ensure fairness and stability. But fraud and mismanagement can cause investors significant losses, leading to government enforcement actions, civil lawsuits, and criminal charges. While losses are an inherent possibility with investing, losses due to a corporation or financial service provider’s wrongdoing may give you the right to sue your stockbroker or another party.

What Is the SEC?

The SEC is an independent federal regulatory agency trusted with protecting investors, maintaining orderly markets, and supporting capital formation. Congress formed the SEC in 1934 during the Great Depression.

Financial services firms and professionals have to register with the SEC to conduct business legally, and securities have to be registered with the SEC before being sold to investors. However, it’s important to note there are exceptions to SEC registration, and unregistered securities exist.

The SEC is an enforcement body and can bring actions against individuals and businesses. It also works with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) when criminal charges may be appropriate.

If you were the victim of securities fraud or mismanagement, the SEC might get involved. The SEC is there to enforce compliance with financial regulations, not retrieve consumers’ losses. It’s best to hire a securities litigation attorney to protect your interests and recover compensation.

What Is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)?

The SEC oversees FINRA, an independent non-governmental organization that governs licensing for securities professionals and creates and enforces rules for registered brokers and broker-dealer firms.

FINRA and the SEC serve two distinct purposes. FINRA oversees stockbrokers and brokerage firms in the U.S., while the SEC is responsible for maintaining fair markets for investors.

Depending on the reason for your losses, we may inform FINRA of wrongdoing by a licensed broker or firm. FINRA has the power to investigate claims and bar financial professionals or firms from the industry.

contact our office to speak to a lawyer.

do you still have questions?


What Are Common Securities Disputes?

Securities disputes often arise after significant stock market losses. As an investor, you may believe your losses are due to fraud or mismanagement. An investment loss may create a legal action if your stockbroker or other financial service provider breached its fiduciary duty or violated a regulation or law.

Osborne & Francis has years of experience handling securities litigation. Common securities disputes may involve:

  • Securities fraud
  • Hedge fund fraud
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Misrepresentation/Omission of facts
  • Misleading investment illustrations
  • Inappropriate margin trading
  • Equity indexed annuities misconduct
  • Variable annuities misconduct  
  • Inappropriate structured product
  • Inappropriate variable life insurance products
  • Inappropriate volatility-linked exchange-traded products
  • Unsuitable investments
  • Shareholder derivative cases
  • Deal cases/Merger and acquisitions
  • Securities class actions
  • Opt-out cases in class actions
  • Outside investment manager/Sub-advisers

Can I Sue My Stock Broker?

The ability to sue your stockbroker depends on whether they violated their fiduciary duty. A stockbroker can’t guarantee you’ll profit from your investments. But all financial services firms and professionals owe their investors a duty of care and loyalty, which means they must act in your best interest — not their own.

Your broker must:

  • Learn about an investment before recommending it to you;
  • Make sure every recommendation is appropriate for your portfolio and risk profile;
  • Inform you of the risks of buying or selling a security;
  • Disclose any conflict of interest they have;
  • Not misrepresent any facts that you’d find important to making a financial decision; and
  • Not buy or sell a security without your express permission.

If you suffered significant investment losses and believe your broker, firm, or business didn’t handle something properly, talk with our securities litigation attorneys right away. We’ll investigate the circumstances surrounding your loss and explain your legal options.

We’ll also investigate who’s to blame for your losses, such as a:

  • Broker-dealer
  • Broker-dealer’s representative
  • Brokerage firm
  • Corporation
  • Corporate officer

We may find a financial professional lied to you to induce you into specific investments. For instance, your broker might have recommended inappropriate investments that made them considerable profit. Or, corporate officers may have mismanaged a company, costing you and other shareholders tremendous value. We’ll be candid about what we find and whether it appears to give rise to a legal claim.

What Damages Are Available in a Securities Lawsuit?

At Osborne & Francis, we are highly experienced in securities disputes. We work tirelessly until we recover fair compensation for our clients.

You may receive compensation for the losses you suffered due to the fraud or inappropriately handled investments. Figuring out how much your claim is worth often involves hiring a financial expert, though it depends on the complexity of your case. The expert reviews your documents, tracks your investments, and calculates your losses based on a particular theory or formula.

What is securities fraud?


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Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

E. Holland

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Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

J. Davis

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“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/ firm — everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied.”

T. Andrews

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“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”

C. Smith

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“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”

Erica F.

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"Best personal injury attorney around, I could not be happier! I was seriously injured in a car accident and Osborne and Francis helped me through the entire process. I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff and attorneys are at this incredible law firm. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to friends and family!"

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How Can I Find Out if I Have a Valid Claim After an Investment Loss?

The best way to find out if you have a valid securities dispute is by consulting an experienced attorney. We find that most retail investors turn to their broker, financial advisor, or brokerage firm for answers about losses. The business will most likely politely but firmly brush you off by explaining you suffered market-related losses.

If you’re suspicious, don’t rely on the broker or firms’ explanation. Instead, seek out a second opinion or move directly to consulting us at Osborne & Francis. We offer a personal experience most bigger firms can’t provide. Despite remaining a boutique firm, we have the skills and resources to handle significant and complex cases.

We’re a highly respected Black-owned law firm with offices in Orlando and Boca Raton. Give us a call at (561) 293-2600 or contact us online if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is securities fraud?

Securities fraud, or investment fraud, is when a person or business misrepresents information to investors to profit at the expense of the investors. Examples include Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, insider trading, pump-and-dump schemes, and late-day trading. Call Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600 if you believe you’re the victim of securities fraud.

How long does it take to resolve securities litigation?

Securities disputes don’t move quickly. You should expect arbitration or litigation to last over a year — 18 months isn’t unusual. It’s best to talk with a securities litigation attorney at Osborne & Francis about the potential timeline.

What do I do if I have a valid securities dispute?

Have a candid talk with a securities litigation attorney at Osborne & Francis about the claim process and the likely outcome. You should understand the best- and worst-case scenarios before you begin. You also need to understand the potential timeline and costs. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth bringing a case, either monetarily or to protect other investors from harm.

Will my investment loss dispute go to trial?

Not necessarily. At Osborne & Francis, we often enter arbitration, which is an alternative dispute resolution method. We prepare for arbitration like a trial and present evidence showing the broker or firms’ wrongdoing and your losses. If we can obtain an award through arbitration, you don’t have to sue your stockbroker.