How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TexLaw Your Own Question
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Type Your Legal Question Here...
TexLaw is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

ATTORNEY - RBC Capital Markets, 6th largest NYSE firm, subsidiary

This answer was rated:

ATTORNEY - RBC Capital Markets, 6th largest NYSE firm, subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. and I met in Calif. FINRA arbitration (FINRA). Calif. State Bar wrote me that RBC Minnesota staff attorney, nor Calif. affiliated attorney, did not register for arbitration, nor pay the required fees. Calif. Superior Court has just ruled they are NOT the proper forum, referring me back to FINRA, that has little or no valid appeals. I can't threaten criminal punishment, but I have no FINRA recourse (they don't report progress, and have not acted...Can I threaten unlawful attorneys, RBC, by contacting SEC, NYSE, state bar associations, state insurance insurance agencies, Congress, etc for punishment ?? ADVISE.......THANKS!

I need some information from you in order to answer your question.

How did you get into the FINRA arbitration?

Did you file a lawsuit in California and then they compelled arbitration?

When you say you want to threaten the attorneys as unlawful, on what grounds do you think they have violated the law?

Also, when you state threaten them, do you mean simply filing complaints against them with the stated entities (SEC, NYSE etc)?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. We sued each other on employment contract -had to go to FINRA.

2. FINRA has rule - NO appeals after 60 days. I learned facts much later.

3. Attorneys violated many Calif. and FINRA laws by practicing without a license. 4. Calif. VERY strict and may notify respective D.A.'s for possible legal action.( Research Calif. and FINRA rules on this area).

5. I've learned. I can't threaten LEGAL action in Calif., but understand I can report the above violations of Calif.and Fed. laws to agencies you cite. 6. I lost $300,000, & hope to "recover" at least my legal fees.They jeopardize losing licenses, getting fined. CAN I legally contact agencies?

Can I write attorneys first with above threats? How to word it?

The answer to your questions is yes, you can contact the agencies referenced, but you need to be very careful.

If you were taken to FINRA arbitration, then the fact that the attorney attended the arbitration in a state where he is not licensed does not mean that he violated the law. An attorney can argue in an arbitration in California without being licensed to practice law in California. That is because arbitration is a private law matter and most states, including California, have procedures to allow non-California attorneys to act in arbitrations in California.

Further, arbitration decisions are binding, so you won't be able to overturn that provision and recovering your attorneys fees will be a hard argument for you to make.

You need to be especially careful in your complaints that you do not commit defamation. If you are going to write these entities to make a complaint that you believe the lawyers were practicing law in California without authorization, you need to be absolutely sure that this is correct. Otherwise you will be exposed to defamation lawsuits.

I think you should contact the California State Bar first to file a complaint and seek some guidance from them. If the attorneys were in fact practicing without authorization, then the State Bar Grievance Committee will confirm that for you. If they do confirm it, then it is safe for you to send out the other complaints.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Zach, You are NOT reading my e-mails. I have a LETTER from the Calif. State Bar Licensing Dir. that the lawyer from Minn. WAS required to complete a form, as was the affiliated Ca. attorney. They did not.They are required to pay fees - they didn't. Bar invited me to file complaint. FINRA

has a posted regulation the attorneys MUST register with the respective state.I will never get my money back, but how do I at the least write a letter to each welcoming SOME "settlement" BEFORE I contact agencies with proven facts? And write it "legally?"



Thank you for responding and clarifying your statement. The question is not really how do you write the complaint letter, it's what you are complaining about and what are your remedies.

You are stating that an attorney represented RBC in an arbitration proceeding in California wihtout being authorized to practice law in the California, per the State Bar. This arbitration proceeding had a negative outcome for you. Before we move on from the arbitration, you should understand that arbitrations are sometimes appellable and the arbitration decision is unenforceable. I'm unsure from your previous emails whether or not you have attempted contesting the enforcement of the arbitration provision or the arbitration award, as you indicated that a California court has ruled they are not the correct forum (this implies that they compelled you to arbitration, but it also could imply that the court things a different court in another state has superior jurisdiction over the issue). I may be looking at something that you have already had analyzed, but I would be remiss not to mention it just in case you have not.

That being said, the main complaint you've brought up here is that the attorney was not authorized by the bar to act in the arbitration. You want to write a letter demanding a "settlement" in exchange for not making a complaint about the unauthorized practice. There are two problems with this. The first is that you are proposing sending the complaint to entities which have no oversight over this sort issue and where your complaint would land on deaf ears. Writing the New York Stock Exchange about one of their member's use of an attorney who was not licensed in a specific forum is not going to trigger any action. Writing Congress may get you a response that says "take it up with the Court's or with the State Bar". Writing the SEC will likely be ignored (I brought a fully researched case to the SEC regarding the defrauding of US shareholders in the amoutn of $65 Million which was simply put into a large stack and I was told they "did not have the time or resources" to handle any further complaints or prosecutions). Further, the SEC only has jurisdiction to enforce securities laws, which the unauthorized practice of law does not violate.

The second problem is that a the unauthorized practice of law is a criminal action. You've mentioned previously that you understand that you can't threaten criminal prosecution in demand for a settlement. This would be criminal extortion on your part. Yet, threatening to report a person for the unauthorized practice of law to any governmental agency which could "punish" the lawyer or the company would also expose you to allegations of extortion and blackmail.

There are four remedies for the unauthorized practice of law: (1) an injunction; (2) criminal prosecution; (3) criminal contempt; and (4) quo warranto writs. An injunction would have been useful to you if you would have asked for it during the arbitration. You could have moved to a California court for an injunction against the RBC Minnesota attorney from practicing law in California. This may have stalled the arbitration until RBC hired a California attorney to take over. Criminal prosecution and criminal contempt are both things that a DA or the State Bar can use to enforce, but not a private party. Writs quo warranto are enforcement proceedings brought by the State.

Further, the breach of duty by the lawyer was not of a duty owed to you, it was his duty to RBC which he breached. If anything, RBC could sue him for violating the attorney-client relationship by taking such actions.

So let's assume that you send a letter to the attorney stating that you are going to file a complaint against him for the unauthorized practice of law with the California Bar and the Minnesota Bar, the only entities that have any enforcement power. Let's further assume that you state you will not make these complaints unless some sort of compensation is given. The attorney may look at it and say "I'll throw the guy some money to make him go away", or he could call the police to report an attempt to extort him. My conclusion on this matter is that you should simply report them, instead of demanding money to not report them.

Further, I think you need to readdress your appellate situation with FINRA. You CAN refuse to abide by an arbitration ruling on the grounds that the arbitration was illegal. The other side then has to move to enforce the arbitration in the courts. At that point, you would bring up legal arguments regaridng why the arbitration was invalid (i.e., it went forward without authorized attorneys and they did not pay the required arbitration fees, OR the underlying arbitration provision was unconscionable and not supported by consideration and thus unenforceable; OR the arbitrators did not apply the correct law so that there was no due process). These are all possible avenues of protection for you under the Federal Arbitration Act. Again, I'm not certain that you have had your arbitration lawyer look over these possibilities, but I would not be doing my job if I did not bring it up as a suggestion.


TexLaw and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you