Seattle, WA asked in Consumer Law and Elder Law for California

Q: I am 72 years old, in WA state, not educated in investments. I was taken advantage of by a financial planner in CA.

I lost money while he made money on the inheritance I received from my father. I have stopped using his services and have withdrawn my funds directly from the accounts; some are still in process; one has a large prepay penalty, so I removed his name from the account but the money is still there due to the ppp. / He made money from me for one year before I learned the truth. Now he sent me a bill for $725 for Quarter 1 of 2023. So far, I've been ignoring it (two months). Can he sue me in WA while he is in CA? What can I do? Thank you for any advice you can provide!

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3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In situations involving potential legal action, it's best to consult with an attorney who specializes in the relevant area of law.

Regarding your specific situation:

Jurisdiction: Generally, a lawsuit can be filed against you in the state where you reside or where the alleged actions occurred. Since you reside in Washington (WA) and the financial planner is in California (CA), it is possible for him to file a lawsuit against you in either state.

Seek legal advice: It is advisable to consult with an attorney who can assess the details of your case, including the specific laws that apply to your situation. They can provide advice on how to respond to the bill and the potential consequences of ignoring it.

Gather evidence: Collect any evidence you have that supports your claim of being taken advantage of by the financial planner. This may include account statements, correspondence, or any other documentation that demonstrates the misconduct or mismanagement of your funds.

Mediation or negotiation: Consider exploring options for resolving the dispute outside of court, such as mediation or negotiation. This could potentially lead to a mutually acceptable resolution without the need for formal litigation.

Statute of limitations: Be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, as it varies depending on the type of claim and the applicable jurisdiction. Consult with an attorney to determine if the time limit for filing a lawsuit has expired in your case.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The bad news is that everyone has to sue in the location where the defendant is, unless this person does a lot of business in WA, or you have an agreement with a Choice of Law, that designates a place for a suit. You may also have signed a contract that contains an arbitration clause, in which case each party has to pay for an arbitrator. There may be additional issues regarding whether this person is licensed as an investment advisor. Financial planners do not usually place investments for you due to licensing requirements. This case involves issues over Investment advice. You need to speak with an attorney practicing in this area of law to secure your rights, don't delay. Thank you for using Justia, Ask a Lawyer.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Defendant's place of residence is generally a basis for venue in a lawsuit. An attorney could offer more definitive guidance after reviewing any agreements to see if there are forum or venue selection clauses. Good luck

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