Tracy Stoneman has been representing investors and stockbrokers with claims against their brokerage firms for almost 30 years. From the outset, Ms. Stoneman became active in championing the rights of investors, for example, by publishing articles to make securities arbitrations fairer and co-authoring a book to better educate the public on the behind-the-scenes activities of brokerage firms. She was one of the early members of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association and served on its Board of Directors for six years. She has represented thousands of individuals who have been wronged by their brokerage firms. Ms. Stoneman has secured some of the largest securities arbitration recoveries from Prudential Securities, PaineWebber, and Raymond James, yet she also handles significantly smaller cases. And today the list of brokerage firms that she regularly sues is: Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Ameritrade, J.P. Morgan. Ms. Stoneman takes cases on an hourly basis or a contingent fee basis. She will also agree to unique, hybrid fee arrangements in order to accommodate the needs of the client - the choice is yours. Ms. Stoneman also represents stockbrokers who have claims against their brokerage firms for such things as wrongful termination and defamation on the U-4/U-5 regulatory form.
One thing that distinguishes Ms. Stoneman from many of her peers is that she has a built-in securities expert witness; he’s Ms. Stoneman’s husband – Douglas J. Schulz ( Invest Securities Consulting ). This is an invaluable resource because lawyers don’t necessarily know the intricacies of the securities business. They were trained in law; not securities. Though Ms. Stoneman uses other experts for the arbitration hearings, having her own expert available 24/7 is incredibly helpful. Though Mr. Schulz is one of the highest paid securities experts in the country, when he is assisting Ms. Stoneman the mode of her cases, he charges nothing. Ms. Stoneman’s decades of experience representing investors and stockbrokers, as well as her built-in expert make for an extremely competent advocate.
Ms. Stoneman is located in Colorado and Texas, although she represents clients all over the country. Arbitrations are unique in that everything that happens takes place online, over the telephone or through the mail. Travel is required only if the case proceeds to arbitration, and most cases settle. As a result, Ms. Stoneman has represented many clients she has never met. Except but in a few states, arbitration lawyers don’t need to be licensed in the state where the arbitration is held (almost always the investor’s residence.) When Ms. Stoneman gets a case in one of the states that requires local counsel, she calls on the many contacts she has developed in her roughly 30 in this business and works out arrangements do not adversely affect the fee the client pays.
Ms. Stoneman's special skills include superb client contact, writing skills, and oral presentation. She is regarded in the industry as enthusiastic and aggressive. Ms. Stoneman is a solo practitioner because she recognizes that for many, even hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. Rather than shuffling you to a junior, less experienced attorney, as some attorneys do, Ms. Stoneman is accessible at virtually all times and will be the only person handling your case. There are a number of firms that specialize in securities arbitration. But far too often, through their marketing efforts, these firms generate a large number of leads and potential cases. Clients are often simply a number in a large base of cases. Not so with Ms. Stoneman. She purposefully keeps her case load small so that her clients receive the best representation possible.
It is critical that the attorney you hire have experience in securities arbitrations. Even an experienced "trial attorney" can be a fish out of water in a securities arbitration. A different set of rules applies than in court. Client preparation is paramount - in a court case, the parties tell their story more than once - once in a deposition and then again at trial. Not so in securities arbitrations, because depositions are rarely allowed. It is critical that your attorney properly prepare the client for the sometimes tricky and deceitful onslaught of questions by opposing counsel. It is also paramount for your attorney to be in command of all of the facts of your case. Only then will your attorney be able to think quickly on her feet to formulate questions and respond in the arbitration. Ms. Stoneman excels in this area and feels that if a lawyer doesn't have the time, the ability or the inclination to represent a client fully and completely in these ways, then the case should not be taken. It is this individualized attention to clients and cases that allows Ms. Stoneman to maximize the positive results she obtains for clients.
Representative Clients: Hundreds of hardworking individuals who have lost substantial amounts of their savings due to the unscrupulous activities of their trusted financial advisors.
J.D., Drake University Law School, 1986
Graduated with honors, Drake Law Review, National Moot Court Team, Mock Trial Team, Order of the Barristers.
B.A. English & Business, Vanderbilt University, 1983
Member Since: 1990
Elected to Board of Directors 1999 - 2005
Municipal Judge, City of Cockrell Hill, Texas
Member Since: 1995
Kramer v. Smith Barney Shearson, Inc., 80 F.3d 1080 (5th Cir. 1996)
First case in Texas/Federal court to hold that the NASD (now FINRA) six-year eligibility rule can be extended by proof of ongoing fraud or concealment. This was a victory for all investors, because the brokerage firms always claim (even to this day) that the occurrence or event giving rise to the claim = the date of the investments. That interpretation is not supported by many courts.
Smith Barney Shearson, Inc. v. Boone, 838 F. Supp. 1156 (N.D. Tex. 1993), aff’d 47 F.3d 750, 754 (5th Cir. 1995)
Federal court held that questions as to timeliness of claim subject to arbitration are procedural issues for arbitral, not judicial determination. And most importantly, the court held that although the last disputed investment purchase took place more than six years before I filed the arbitration claim, it could not be said with confidence that claims were time barred without forbidden judicial inquiry into underlying merits of claims.
McPhatter v. Salomon Smith Barney, et. al., --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2005 WL 3150245 (M.D.N.C. Nov. 18, 2005)
Represented 40+ individuals who were all former employees of Bellsouth in Charlotte, North Carolina in a class action court case against Salomon Smith Barney. The firm’s brokers had put on seminars at Bellsouth and convinced many workers to take early retirement based upon promises of 12% returns. The brokers then invested far too aggressively for the investors who lost much of their savings. The case settled for a nice sum that is confidential.
Award #01-02707 2002
Securities arbitration typically involves only financial losses. However, in this case I found myself representing a woman who claimed that not only had her stockbroker lost a lot of her money through inappropriate trading, he also sexually harassed her and caused her mental anguish. We arbitrated the case, and the Panel not only awarded my client her losses, her attorney’s fees, and her costs, it also awarded $85,000 as damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery. This type of award is very rare in securities arbitrations.