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Investor Advocacy Project

Featured in Star-Ledger, October 15

In 2010, Seton Hall Law was awarded a grant to launch the Investor Advocacy Project in which students utilize negotiation, mediation and arbitration to resolve cases on behalf of small investors who have lost up to $100,000. The Project was featured in the Star-Ledger on October 15. We welcome case referrals.

Bob Braun ’74, columnist for the Star-Ledger, featured Seton Hall Law’s Investor Advocacy Project (IAP) in his column on October 15. He tells the story of Bill Sudyka, a 65 year-old veteran and retired drummer from Toms River, who followed investment advice and lost his retirement savings. However, he could not afford to retain private legal counsel. Through an arbitration process conducted e under FINRA rules, Investor Advocacy Project students helped Sudyka obtain a settlement that was 10 times what he originally thought he lost.

Braun quotes Sudyka: “They gave me years to my life, years I would have spent trying to do this on my own."

The IAP is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. The Seton Hall Law Investor Advocacy Project is the only FINRA Foundation funded investor clinic in New Jersey.

Professor David M. White, IAP Director, supervises a team of 12 students to provide legal representation to investors, with limited income or modest claims, who have a dispute with an investment professional and are unable to obtain legal counsel. Claims may include those resulting from unsuitable investment strategies and unauthorized trading activity.

Professor Maya Grosz, who directs the Seton Hall Law Legal Practice Curriculum, explained how the new initiative provides students with training in practical lawyering skills and provides the larger community with access to representation: “In the IAP, our students gain hands-on experience in dispute resolution – the manner by which the vast majority of cases are resolved in modern legal practice. The ultimate benefit is that our students can make a difference for a small investor who has a dispute with an investment professional but who might not have a large enough claim to get legal assistance.”

The Investor Advocacy Project includes an education outreach component to promote investment awareness and assist individuals in making informed investment choices. In the past year, IAP students have conducted nearly two dozen seminars among diverse audiences throughout the state.

We welcome case referrals for investors whose claims are less than $100,000. Please contact Professor David M. White, Director of the Investor Advocacy Project, at investoradvocacy@shu.edu or call 973-642-8084.

Click here to read the Star-Ledger feature.

For more information regarding the Investor Advocacy Project visit law.shu.edu/investoradvocacy.