Court Rules: Charged anew 11,000% of comm. fees for 1900 trades, and 570% Comm. Fee

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by TraderManiac, Jan 22, 2007.

Judge ruled on $6,250:

  1. I get all

    5 vote(s)
  2. I get half

    0 vote(s)
  3. I get some

    7 vote(s)
  4. I get none

    11 vote(s)
  1. Coming up....

    In a few hours!!!
  2. Verdict in: The judge did not accept my version of the agreement; although, the ten or more arguments I made had nothing to do with proving “my version of the agreement.” I think he restricted me to that argument because of the way my claim was written. He said he found this case is of “fact” and not of “law”, hinting the law was on my side as I believe. This indicates you might get a different verdict under the same circumstances. My claim was dismissed. The defendant was said to have made an “honest mistake,” but was denied costs for what the judge described as an “accounting” error.

    Shame.... Shame…. Shame…. It was a sad day for traders and online consumers; for sure. The broker’s error was humongous! As I see it. This ruling will not help make brokers feel it is mandatory to provide extra-reliable services to their clients. Indeed, they may make mistakes intentionally to trick people into thinking they are getting what they will not actually get; thus, grossly profiting from the “mistake” blame game. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with the ruling.

    Oh well, at least I came with something everlasting out of it: Put me down as the first person in history to be charged a 570% commission fee!
  3. Now that it is over…. I confess what I lost in dollars I made up with just the laughs. This incident is hilarious, and I got a lot of down-to-the-core laughs just seeing and expecting everyone’s reactions to it here. The laughing was uncontrollable for a few days after I posted the story on EliteTrader. Even now I have the occasional giggles.
  4. Good job to the Judge. He or she did well to throw out a frivolous claim.
  5. The statement that the case was of "fact" means only that it was a question of the facts as applied to the contract, rather than based on some external law which would otherwise control the outcome of the dispute. So, what you believe the judge was doing is incorrect.

    The key element missing from your statement of facts in the other thread, was whether or not the broker could prove your original agreement or not, via tape or written confirmation. If not, and you admitted to the agreement in your pleading to the court, then that is all the judge would need to find you liable, because you agreed to certain terms and conditions, and it's not particularly relevant whether or not the broker charged you based on those agreed to terms, up front or after the fact.

    On the other hand, if you did not plead or otherwise admit to the original contract, then the judge would have only had what was visible on the trade confirmations, in which case, they would have proven your agreement was for only 1 cent per share, rather than what you apparently agreed to.

    You could have have defended on grounds that the broker's error operated as a waiver of the original agreement, and that you relied on that waiver to your detriment, because had the commission rate been higher, you would not have made the trades you did, as they would have been losers due the the increased commission.

    Other than that, you probably blew your foot off at the instant you admitted the existence of the other agreement. Even though brokers routinely record conversations, it's pretty rare that they will spend the time to find them and produce them for the court, because of the search time involved.

    But, maybe this broker has a more sophisticated system of logging calls than some others, or perhaps I'm behind the times on the subject.

    Anyway, better luck next time.
  6. JackR


    And now that it is over - Who was the broker?
  7. kjkent1 thanks I needed (and was looking for) that clarification. Yes, the defendant relied on my admitting to the original agreement tremendously. Yet, I didn’t want to lie (Christian I am) and I didn’t want to be caught lying. However, I did hardly remember the terms of the agreement when I was notified of the error, so I might have did myself in by just agreeing to the terms after being notified of the error.

    Yes, after recently doing some reading on the subject, I discovered that a contract, generally, is effective immediately, and it is the debtor’s responsibility to offer payment, irregardless of whether the creditor notifies the debtor of the amount due. I’m not going to go into details, but let me tell you, I went in there raining arsenal and big bombs at the defendant, few of which were reflected. I was in it not just for myself, but for every unsuspecting person out there who might come across the same situation.

    Unfortunately, not being a lawyer, I could not penetrate the judge’s “shell,” if you will. He was operating on a whole nother level than I was. I think he understood what I was saying, but he was determined for something else, which I could not affect. To me it was very clear to be charged under the original contract would be unacceptably unfair, but the judge saw it as my own doing. I cannot grasp why the judge took that view; I might have not explained well enough the defendant’s responsibility in this.

    Is there a way to force a judge to make a verdict based on “law” and not “fact”?

    JackR No, we have left on good terms, and I have an interest to remain on good terms. It is no fun getting into a dispute with a broker (a.k.a. a financial dictator,) and getting on its bad side. That’s all I have to say on that. Anyway, irregardless of the broker many a lessons can be learned from this.
  8. GTC


    TraderManiac, you mentioned that you left on "good terms". Does it mean that the broker finally waived some/all of those commissions ticket charges for a conditional gag order? If that is the case, I would consider the broker to be very lucky.
  9. No, it would not compromise one cent. I had to pay the amount left owing, but I paid it before the trial out of prudence, because the Canadian dollar was going down and I would have been a greater loser if I had lost the case. However, that might have prevented the judge from discharging the original contract.

    To describe the broker as lucky I don’t reveal it is correct: The broker’s error was tremendous by any standard. It is a personal decision I made for many reasons, which I do not wish to discuss. Had the broker’s error been digestible in any way, I might have not cared about revealing the broker’s name. I have made my decision, let us leave it at that.
    #10     Jan 27, 2007