Securities Arbitration Clinic

The Securities Arbitration Clinic is part of the St. Vincent de Paul Legal Program, Inc. It is a one-semester clinic staffed by second and third-year law students who help represent under-served investors in securities arbitration claims involving misrepresentation, unsuitability, unauthorized trading, excessive trading (aka churning), and failure to supervise, among other claims before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Under the supervision of Acting Director Christine Lazaro and Assistant Director Francis J. Facciolo, participants handle all phases of the client’s case and gain valuable lawyering skills, including client interviewing and counseling and negotiation and advocacy, as well as substantive legal knowledge of securities laws and the securities arbitration process. Depending on the phase of the case(s) students are assigned, they may engage in:

  • Factual and legal investigation
  • Case assessment
  • Drafting of Statements of Claim
  • Propounding discovery requests
  • Responding to discovery requests
  • Pre-hearing scheduling conferences and conference calls

Clinical students may also consult and collaborate with financial experts to conduct financial and legal analyses of cases they handle. Additionally, students may write comment letters to the SEC and/or FINRA in response to requests for public comment on proposed rulemaking or other agency activity. 

Engaging in the local communities, Clinic participants conduct Investor Education Seminars on such topics as:

  • Investor rights and responsibilities
  • Broker duties
  • Common causes of action
  • Tips for keeping track of investments
  • Potential risks of investment products
  • What to do if an investor’s brokerage firm goes out of business

The Clinic also hosts a symposium entitled “Consumer Day: Protecting Your Financial Future” which is a free all day investor education program. In the past, the symposium has included experts from the Attorney General’s Office, the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the private plaintiffs’ bar.

Contact

Lorraine Benjamin
Securities Arbitration Clinic

Clinical Office
St. John’s School of Law, Room 2-26
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
securities@stjohns.edu
718-990-6898
Fax 718-990-1961