Robert J. Girard II
Top Rated Securities Litigation Attorney in Los Angeles, CA
Selected to Rising Stars: 2012 - 2014
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A founding partner of Girard Bengali, APC, Robert J. Girard II has more than 20 years of experience representing public investors in securities litigation and arbitration, as well employees in employment disputes. With his experience, skill and determination, Mr. Girard has built a solid reputation as a dedicated and fierce representative of his clients’ interests. Mr. Girard passionately believes in obtaining justice for his clients through the litigation process.
Mr. Girard advocates for institutional and individual investors against major Wall Street brokerage firms and has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of his clients in both court and FINRA Dispute Resolution/Arbitration. Whether through settlement, arbitration or trial, Mr. Girard protects his clients’ interests with a results-oriented approach and a zealous commitment to safeguarding their rights. Mr. Girard’s representations include victims of financial elder abuse, securities fraud, unsuitable investment strategies, misrepresentations and account mismanagement. Mr. Girard does not represent brokerage firms in suits against public investors.
In addition to FINRA 8210 inquiries, on-the-record (OTR) testimony and enforcement actions, Mr. Girard also represents securities professionals in employment disputes against broker-dealer and advisory firms. Mr. Girard protects his clients’ reputations against unscrupulous firms that use the filing of a Form U5 as a “sword” and has successfully negotiated revised Form U5 disclosure language and prosecuted claims for expungement, deferred compensation, wrongful discharge/wrongful termination, unfair business practices, retaliation, discrimination and proration of promissory notes.
About Robert J. Girard II
First Admitted: 2001, California
Professional Webpage: https://www.girardbengali.com/attorney/robert-j-girard-ii/
- Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), Board of Directors, Co-Chair of SRO Committee, former Co-Chair of Bylaws Committee
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Business Litigation Section
- Beverly Hills Bar Association
- Selected as a Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2012-2014
- Selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2015-2020
- “FINRA Expungement Proceedings: Use, Abuse and Regulatory Developments,” 26 Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA) Bar Journal 2, pp. 233-251, 2019
- “FINRA Expungement Proceedings: Party Perspectives, Ethics and Recent Regulatory Developments,” Moderator, 2019 PIABA Mid-Year Meeting, April 2019
- “Be Upfront with Clients About Pricing,” Forum Magazine, Small Law Firm Spotlight, October 2018
- “Preparing a Client for Direct/Cross-Examination at Hearing,” Speaker, 27th Annual PIABA Meeting, October 2018
- “Preparing Your Client for Arbitration and Mediation,” Panelist, 27th Annual PIABA Meeting, October 2018
- “The Broker Protocol: The founding of the Protocol, how it impacted the industry and how its downfall will affect advisors and clients for years to come,” Moderator, PIABA Panel Presentation, May 2018
- “Customer Cases in Securities Litigation/FINRA Cases: What to Look for and How to Help Your Clients,” Presenter, PDM Certified Public Accountants, “Lunch and Learn” Series, January 2018
- “Fighting the Bullies of Wall Street,” Fortune & Bloomberg Businessweek, August 2017
- “Financial Advisors Seminar: Safeguard Your Career,” March 2015
- “Guilty Until Proven Innocent – What You Need to Know About FINRA Arbitration,” Panel Member, National Association of Independent Broker-Dealers (NAIBD) Webinar, September 2009
- “Equity-Indexed Annuities,” National Association of Independent Broker-Dealers (NAIBD), January 2006
- Before law school, Mr. Girard first completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1996. He then went on to attend the Seton Hall University School of Law, from where he graduated cum laude with his Juris Doctor in 2001. He was admitted to practice law in California in 2001. Following law school, Mr. Girard worked at two different major law firms in Los Angeles, specializing in securities arbitration and litigation.
- Having pursued claims against Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Wedbush Securities, Wells Fargo Advisors, Fidelity Investments, TD Ameritrade, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, RBC Capital, Bank of America, among others, Mr. Girard is well-versed in the landscape of securities industry litigation.
- Hailed as a victory in the fight against elder financial abuse, Mr. Girard secured an award of $1.8 million against Wedbush Securities, Inc., for an elderly couple who were former customers, with over $1 million of the award representing punitive damages. (FINRA Arbitration Award, Case No. 16-00847) https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/aao_documents/16-00847.pdf
- When a client’s small Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) suffered financial and reputational damage due to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.’s breach of loyalty and violations of its own policies regarding conflicts of interest between its RIA clients, Mr. Girard secured a monetary FINRA Arbitration award that validated his client’s allegations – that Schwab intentionally and surreptitiously aided and abetted a former employee’s efforts to poach long-standing customers – and sent a clear message to other RIAs and institutional custodians, like Schwab, that greed and profit cannot overcome their ethical obligations to avoid conflicts of interests between clients. (FINRA Arbitration Award, Case No. 16-03252) https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/aao_documents/16-03252.pdf
- In another employment-related win, Mr. Girard secured a highly favorable settlement for an individual broker who had been wrongfully discharged and obtained a FINRA Arbitration award granting expungement of his Form U-5 after proving the language reported by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., was incorrect and defamatory in nature. (FINRA Arbitration Award, Case No. 15-00622) https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/aao_documents/15-00622.pdf
- In the fight against wrongful reputational harm for individual brokers, Mr. Girard secured a $3.7 million arbitration award against the principal of a FINRA member firm on behalf of two former employees, with $2.5 million in punitive damages. (FINRA Arbitration Award, Case No. 12-03372) https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/aao_documents/12-03372-Award-All%20Public%20Panel-20140603.pdf
- Mr. Girard has proven his commitment to meeting, and exceeding, his client’s expectations by securing tens of millions of dollars in settlements with some of the securities industry’s biggest players, as well as others who prey upon the inexperienced and vulnerable. These settlements were the result of bringing claims against big business for, among others, breach of contract; discrimination and retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act; elder financial abuse; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud and misrepresentation; failure to supervise; violations of Federal and State securities laws; California Labor Code and Business & Professions Code; unjust enrichment; and infliction of emotional distress. While his skills as a negotiator are well-honed and proven effective, Mr. Girard also is keenly aware of when negotiations fail and cases must advance to litigation to pursue his clients’ rights. He has never backed away from a fight.
- Financial Services
- October 2021 FINRA Disciplinary Actionshttp://buff.ly/3AJvMqr -- Girard Bengali, APC #securities #litigation… https://t.co/Qu4XHG4nnp
- FINRA Disciplinary Actions September 2021http://buff.ly/3kwahoh -- Girard Bengali, APC #securities #litigation… https://t.co/FGE3kRJkJV
- FINRA Disciplinary Actions August 2021http://buff.ly/3xIVcCZ -- Girard Bengali, APC #securities #litigation… https://t.co/ik4l7xpyUW
- FINRA Disciplinary Action July 2021http://buff.ly/3r3rrLk -- Girard Bengali, APC #securities #litigation #investor… https://t.co/1CDa480g5Q
- FINRA Disciplinary Actions June 2021http://buff.ly/3w6QCP3 -- Girard Bengali, APC #securities #litigation #investor… https://t.co/sxLAFgAEta
Last Updated: 6/7/2022