by Brian Mahany
Raymond James is a large broker dealer with dozens of offices nationwide. Occasionally one of their stockbrokers makes a mistake. No surprises there. Raymond James’ handling of the case, however, is shocking.
Hurshel Tyler is in his late 80’s. In May he won a $1.7 million award from a FINRA arbitration panel. (Most brokerage agreements mandate arbitration of customer complaints and require they be submitted to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or “FINRA” for short.) Tyler won after a long battle with the firm. Tyler’s wife Mildred died before ever seeing any of the couple’s money return. Now Hurshel may be facing the same fate. Raymond James still won’t pay.
Although the arbitration panel ruled against Raymond James, the brokerage firm has not yet paid the judgment. In fact, they have taken Hurshel to court in the hopes of overturning the award.
Absent clear fraud by one of the arbitrators, courts are very hesitant to overturn arbitration awards. The panel in the Tyler case awarded the couple almost $2 million after finding that Raymond James recommended unsuitable investments. Brokers can be held liable if they make recommendations not consistent with their customer’s goals, sophistication, and risk tolerance. They can also be held responsible for any losses if they fail to get to properly know their customers.
In this case, Tyler successfully argued that a couple in their late 80’s with little time left to live should not be investigating invariable annuities. These annuities often have a long, protracted payout period; one that might “outlive” the customer!
Raymond James’ refusal to honor the arbitration decision is questionable. For now, it appears that they would rather face bad publicity than honor and follow a binding decision by FINRA.
If you are the victim of investment fraud or a stockbroker doesn’t treat you fairly, you may have a case. The FINRA arbitation lawyers at Mahany & Ertl can help you in a wide variety of fraud cases. For a no obligation assessment of your case, contact attorney Brian Mahany at (4q4) 704-6731 (direct) or by email at In many cases, the entire process can handled on a contingent (success) fee basis.
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – America’s Fraud and Asset Recovery Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Detroit, Portland & San Francisco. Services performed nationwide.