New York's Bernie Madoff and his celebrity clients got the headlines, but there were many others out there doing the same.
"We are very busy," says White from his office in Chicago at the White Law Group. "The only concern we have with our cases is that many of the brokerage firms we are suing are being sued by so many people that a lot of them are on the brink of bankruptcy."
It's a Two-Part Analysis
White works on contingency and doesn't take cases if he doesn't think he can get a recovery for his client. His decision is based on a two-part analysis. Did the firm due its due diligence—in other words was the product they sold a legitimate investment (not a ponzi scheme)—and was that investment appropriate for the investor?
Many of the White Law Group's clients are elderly Americans, looking for income stream to support them in retirement. Unfortunately, some of the investments they were sold were ponzi schemes or just lousy investments with far too much risk attached for unsophisticated, older investors with limited timelines.
"Many of our clients ask 'how am I going to do?'" says White. "I always say, 'I don't know.' I tell them at FINRA hearings, 50 percent win and 50 percent lose approximately. And of those who win, they usually get 50 percent of what they ask for."
"Then again statistically speaking, about 90 percent of the cases that we file, the client gets something," says White, a solid attorney with a solid record, "they either settle or take it to a hearing and get an award."
Occasionally, at a mediation hearing where there is usually a desire on behalf of the brokerage firm to settle, there's a whiff of remorse in the air—but don't count on it.
"I am a pretty relaxed person," says White. "I can advocate for my clients without getting heated about it, but there are lawyers with different styles obviously. Sometimes the negotiations are very civil and sometimes there is a lot of yelling back and forth."
During the hearing, it is unlikely to see a broker or the broker firm show their cards if they are feeling badly about seeing someone lose their life savings, but White has seen signs of contrition after it's over.
"Certainly it has happened where a broker will come over to my client after a hearing and apologize. It is not on the record and it is very discreet," says White.
Claims Still Coming
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"We are being successful getting money for our clients," says White. "These firms may be up against a lot of claims, but they want to stay in business, so they have a miraculous way of finding money."
Daxton White and the White Law Group specializes in handling securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection and securities regulatory and compliance law. "Many of our clients have lost a significant portion of their net worth as the result of the negligence of their financial professional. As such, we believe that part of our role as attorney is to offer suppport," says White.