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Breach of Contract

  1. What Is a Contract?
  2. Do I Have a Contract With My Broker or Advisor?
  3. How Do I Know if My Broker/Advisor Breached My Contract?
  4. Can I Recover My Investment Funds if My Broker/Advisor Breached My Contract With Them?
  5. What Should I Do if My Broker/Advisor Breached My Investment Contract?

What Is a Contract?

Generally, a contract is an agreement between two or more parties that obligates each party to perform, or not perform, certain duties as stipulated in the agreement. To create a legally enforceable contract, there must be (1) an offer, (2) acceptance, and (3) an exchange of consideration. Contracts can typically be written or verbal.

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Do I Have a Contract With My Broker or Advisor?

Every investment relationship should begin with an account opening agreement that serves as the basis for the terms of your relationship with your broker or investment advisor. The account opening agreement will dictate your rights in the investment relationship as well as the obligations that your broker/advisor owes to you. Other than the account opening agreement, you may have additional contracts with your broker/advisor, including options contracts, margin contracts, and discretionary contracts.

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How Do I Know if My Broker/Advisor Breached My Contract?

A contract is breached when one party to the agreement fails to abide by promises and obligations spelled out in the contract. In an investment relationship context, broker/advisors tend to breach contracts when they fail to perform according to the terms established with a customer at the start of an investment relationship or by failing to follow rules and regulations offered by regulatory agencies, like FINRA and the SEC.

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Can I Recover My Investment Funds if My Broker/Advisor Breached My Contract With Them?

If your investment contract with a broker, advisor, or financial institution has been breached, you may be entitled to compensation by way of damages. Normally, there are three types of damages available to victims of a breached contract: compensatory damages, liquidated damages, and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to make the victim “whole,” as if the breach never occurred. Liquidated damages are those specifically spelled out in a contract should a breach occur. Finally, punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoing of the party that breached the contract.

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What Should I Do if My Broker/Advisor Breached My Investment Contract?

If you have reason to believe that your broker/advisor breached your investment contract, you should consult with experienced Securities Law attorneys, like the ones at Malecki Law, to determine the merits of your claim. If you have a strong claim supported by evidence, you may be able to recover damages via mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

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Testimonials From Former Clients
I highly recommend Jenice and her team at Malecki Law. I had a challenging, and lengthly case. Jenice was professional, very knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with. She managed to make the process far less stressful during a very difficult time. They care about their clients, and it definitely shows. Mario
Jenice is truly a miracle worker and one of the top securities lawyers. She handled a very difficult case for us, displaying her legal knowledge, intelligence, and savviness throughout the process. I cannot recommend her enough. The quality of work from her team rivals that of corporate law firms. She was always available, extremely professional, and made sure to know all the details of the case. We were very fortunate to have been referred to Jenice and highly recommend her for any securities related legal issues. Nathan A.
An excellent professional who represented us in trial regarding a bank fraud, an unexpected and difficult time. A professional that worked hard, persevering and who stood toe to toe against firms that had a team of excellent lawyers backing them up. Her unflinching determination really stands out, it makes you feel you have someone who really cares about trying to recover what you lost from the people that wronged you. Salomon Levi
It is difficult to thank you in words when gratitude comes from the heart, so I will try to link feelings with writing. It is essential for us to mention your excellence as a professional, your aptitude on legal fields, and your unavoidable persistence. All of these virtues that elevate the profession you exercise in such an admirable way, go hand in hand with your sense of ethics, your human warmth and the transparency in your actions. To sum up, thank you for being a listening ear and for having the right word while transmitting information about the legal process. Having you as our representative during such an adverse situation was a privilege and enough reason for our eternal gratitude. Angeles Aparain
To say that my securities litigation was complex would be a severe understatement. With multiple parties involved and spanning many years, trying to understand the issues was daunting to say the least. Jenice and her team broke down the transactions by segment and by party uncovering every hidden expense. In the end, I was more than happy and could not thank Jenice and her team enough. I would not hesitate to recommend Jenice to anyone. She is highly professional, incredibly knowledgeable, well connected to industry experts, has a tireless work ethic and is so pleasant and easy to communicate with. Five stars for sure! Andrew Loughrane