A former client won more than $1.2 million in damages from an advisor and her firm. A FINRA arbitration panel sided with the client over the advisor's alleged misconduct, including breach of fiduciary duty and unsuitability, in a dispute over retirement planning advice.

In arbitration, this outcome happens less often than not. Last year, clients won damages in 38% of 465 arbitration cases in which they were claimants, according to FINRA statistics. Many cases are settled before arbitrators even make a decision. In 2014, more than half of all arbitration cases were resolved through a settlement.

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