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How to Plan for Your Initial Consultation with Schwartz Investor Advocates

If you have never been involved in litigation, speaking with an attorney about your potential investment loss claim may be a daunting task. You might not know which pieces of information are important and which facts really “matter.” You may also be emotionally charged given the recent loss of your investment funds. The key to having a successful initial consultation is preparation! Knowledge is power and the more information you are able to provide to the lawyer, the more productive your initial meeting with an attorney will be. Follow these steps to plan for your first initial consultation with an investment loss attorney so you feel prepared and have the materials you need to move your case along quickly.


1.  New Account Opening Documents

When you opened your investment account, you likely signed an agreement with your financial advisor which outlines the nature and scope of your relationship with the financial advisor and the advisor’s firm. This agreement contains very important information about your investment objective, risk tolerance, and the forum where you have agreed to resolve any disputes you have with the financial advisor and the advisor’s firm. Please locate a copy of this agreement and be prepared to provide it to the lawyer for review.

2.  Account Statements

Your investment loss most likely took place over a period of time. Your annual statements provide a 12-month summary of the account activity, but your monthly statements provide more detail and insight on the specific transactions. Be prepared to produce these statements to the lawyer during your consultation.

3.  Chronology of Events

The devil is in the detail, and a detailed chronology of events will help the lawyer understand what happened with your investment. You should commit the chronology to write and include as much information as possible (i.e., critical dates, names of people who participated in meetings/calls, directions you provided to your financial advisor, etc…)

4.  List of Individuals with Knowledge of the Events in Dispute

It is important for the lawyer to know who may have knowledge of the issues in dispute so the lawyer can speak with these individuals, if necessary. Having a list of individuals, with their respective contact information, will also help you develop the chronology of events discussed above. If you prepare this list in advance of your consultation you will also expedite the review process and aid in moving your potential claim forward.

5.  Create a List of Questions

The litigation process can be overwhelming if you have never been involved in a lawsuit. Use your time with the lawyer to ask questions about the process and learn more about the lawyer. Make sure you question the attorney about their experience, rates, and past cases. Use this time to get educated on the process and the attorney so you can decide if the lawyer is right for you.

6.  Be Honest and Open During the Consultation

Whatever you say to the lawyer during your consultation is confidential. Take advantage of the confidentiality and be honest and truthful with the lawyer. The trust always comes out in the end, so being upfront and confronting any “problems” that may exist with your claim with help you in the long run.

7.  Schedule Your Consultation

If you believe you have a potential investment loss claim, you should speak with a reputable lawyer who practices in this area as soon as possible. You should take action so the applicable statute of limitations does not run out. Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping individuals who have experienced significant investment losses and have been taken advantage of by their financial advisors. Since the laws and regulations that apply to financial advisors are complex, we always recommend consulting with an experienced lawyer if you are unsure as to whether you are a victim of misconduct or fraud. If you would like to talk to an attorney about losses you have incurred, or any other concerns you may have, please contact us for a free consultation.


Matthew Schwartz

Matthew Schwartz is a Shareholder at Schwartz, P.A. where he serves as the practice group leader for their securities litigation and professional negligence practice group. His practice is focused on plaintiff-side securities arbitration and litigation, representing individual investors and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, investment advisors, commodities firms, hedge funds and others. He also represents plaintiffs who have been damaged by their insurance agents, lawyers, accountants and other professionals. He is an accomplished commercial litigator who has handled a variety of business disputes and other consumer claims.

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