Andrew Stoltmann Esq.

Andrew Stoltmann, attorney and investor advocate, exclusively concentrates his practice in representing investors who are the victims of investment fraud. He has represented over one thousand individuals in lawsuits and securities arbitration actions against brokerage firms like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Wachovia, Linsco, Prudential, Baird, Edward Jones, AG Edwards and Smith Barney and has tried approximately 80 cases. Previous to opening the Stoltmann Law Offices P.C. he was a partner in a law firm concentrating its practice in the representation of investors in lawsuits, arbitration claims and class actions against brokerage firms.

Mr. Stoltmann is currently an adjunct securities law professor at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Mr. Stoltmann is currently on the Board of Directors for the Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), an international bar association of attorneys whose members represent investors in disputes with the securities industry. He became the Executive Vice President/President elect of PIABA in October of 2016 and will become the President of the organization in October of 2017.  He was the Editor-In-Chief of the PIABA Bar Journal from 2001 through 2005. Mr. Stoltmann also co-authored the book “Investor Rights for the Year 2000 and Beyond.” He was voted an Illinois legal Rising Star from 2008 through 2012 and voted a Super Lawyer by his legal peers in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Mr. Stoltmann worked as a licensed stockbroker for Olde Discount and Merrill Lynch. While in law school at DePaul University, Mr. Stoltmann clerked at the Chicago NASD Dispute Resolution office (now called FINRA), where 95% of securities arbitration cases are decided.

Mr. Stoltmann has appeared as a guest providing legal opinions, commentary and analysis on CNN, CNBC, BBC, CBC, CBS, CNN-FN, Bloomberg TV and National Public Radio (please see Stoltmann in The News). Mr. Stoltmann has been quoted in various publications worldwide including the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Kiplinger’s, Jerusalem Post, London Post, London Free Press, The Guardian (UK), Daily Telegraph of London, Montreal Gazette, MaClean’s, Calgary Herald, Toronto Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo), China Daily (Beijing), Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), National Post, and The Scotsman (Edinburgh).

Mr. Stoltmann is a member of PIABA (Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association), ATLA (Association of Trial Lawyers of America), the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Email:Andrew@stoltlaw.com
Phone: 312.332.4200

 

Celiza (Lisa) Braganca Esq.

Celiza (Lisa) Bragança has over 20 years of experience as a litigator, primarily in the area of financial and securities litigation. Lisa’s expertise in this area was honed when she served as a Branch Chief in the Division of Enforcement of the Securities & Exchange Commission, where she handled investigations of financial fraud, offering fraud, insider trading, churning, unsuitability, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. More recently, she has represented investors in recovering substantial losses before FINRA arbitrators as well as represented directors and officers in SEC investigations, class actions, and related matters. Prior to attending law and business school, Lisa was a consultant with the division of Arthur Andersen & Company that later became Accenture. She is a member of the Trial Bar for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Education

J.D. with honors (Order of the Coif) and M.B.A., University of Chicago, 1992

B.A. in Economics, with honors, University of Chicago, 1984

Representative Matters

Securities Litigation and Investigations

While at the SEC, Lisa investigated major accounting firms, subprime lenders, telecommunications companies, broker-dealers, and other financial entities. She investigated significant financial fraud at Mercury Finance Company, which led to civil and criminal fraud charges being brought against the company’s former Chairman and CEO, former treasurer, and former accounting manager. She participated in the investigation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations arising out of the bribery of Haitian customs officials by officers of American Rice, Inc. She coordinated that FCPA investigation with the Department of Justice’s Fraud Division. Those investigations resulted in criminal convictions of American Rice’s former CEO and former vice president of operations. (In the Matter of American Rice, Inc., et al., Exchange Act Release No. 47286, SEC Admin. Proceeding File No. 3-11024 (Jan. 30, 2003)). Lisa has valuable perspective to offer when representing directors, officers, and others in connection with SEC and related investigations. Her securities law experience also carries over to other matters, including recovering investors losses resulting from fraud or other misconduct.

Securities matters that Lisa has handled include: Securities & Exchange Commission v. Terry Dowdell, et al., 175 F. Supp. 2d 850 (W.D. Va. Dec. 7, 2001), 2002 WL 236687 (Feb. 15, 2002), 2002 WL 424595 (Mar. 14, 2002) (obtained injunction against promoters of international Ponzi scheme); In the Matter of Laurie Canady, SEC Admin. Proceeding File No. 3-8531-D (Nov. 26, 2001) (sanction of Merrill Lynch registered representative for churning and unsuitable investments); and SEC v. Stanley Awdisho, et al., Civ. No. 04-C-6125 (N.D. Ill., filed Sept. 21, 2004) (targeted manipulation of stock option markets via “small order lot baiting” or “spoofing”).

Directors and Officers

Lisa has represented directors and officers before the SEC and in financial and securities litigation, including SEC investigations and litigation, securities class actions, fiduciary duty actions, and related bankruptcy actions.

Other Litigation

Prior to joining the SEC, Lisa concentrated on complex commercial litigation. While at Jenner & Block, she represented Case Corporation in a federal court trial in which the jury awarded Case the entire $4.2 million sought for breach of contract against its insurer, plus an additional $10 million in punitive damages against the insurer for bad faith denial of claims. Lisa has also served as class counsel in statewide class actions that are changing the way the State of Illinois provides long-term supports and services to low-income people with disabilities.

Email:Lisa@stoltlaw.com
Phone: 312.332.4200

 

Joe Wojciechowski Esq.

Joe Wojciechowski graduated from Western Michigan University in May 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He then attended Roosevelt University in Chicago where he received a post-baccalaureate degree in Paralegal Studies, with Honors. Mr. Wojciechowski then began his employment with Stoltmann Law Offices, P.C. as the firm’s lead Paralegal in March 2005. After attending night school for four years, Mr. Wojciechowski received his Juris Doctor in May 2009 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and was admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois in November 2009. While in Law School, Mr. Wojciechowski appeared on the Dean’s List several times and was awarded the prestigious CALI Award for Civil Procedure and Commercial Paper (UCC Articles 3, 4 and 5).

Mr. Wojciechowski has successfully briefed, argued and defeated numerous motions to dismiss before several arbitration panels. He has also actively engaged in discovery motions and evidentiary rulings and motions on a prehearing basis. Mr. Wojciechowski has briefed motions to vacate arbitration awards before the Central District of California, Northern District of Illinois, and participated in appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Wojciechowski has appeared before FINRA arbitration panels in numerous cases and successfully mediated dozens of cases.

Mr. Wojciechowski is currently a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), the Chicago Bar Association, and the Illinois Bar Association. As a member of PIABA, Mr. Wojciechowski has actively participated as a member of the Self-Regulatory Organization Committee, reviewing SEC and FINRA rule proposals and drafting comment letters on behalf of PIABA. Mr. Wojciechowski also actively participates on PIABA’s Annual Meeting Committee and is an Associate Editor of the organization’s Bar Journal. Mr. Wojciechowski was admitted to the Illinois Bar in November 2009 and is currently licensed to practice law in Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois.

Email: Joe@stoltlaw.com
Twitter:@chistocklawpro
Phone: 312.332.4200

Deanna Besbekos Esq.

Deanna Besbekos graduated Cum Laude from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a B.A. in Psychology in May 2009. She graduated Cum Laude from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago in May 2012. Ms. Besbekos earned a Dean’s Scholarship while attending The John Marshall Law School and was also on the Dean’s List. She won the Hellenic Bar Association Scholarship in October 2010 and served as the President of the Hellenic Law Students Association. Ms. Besbekos also won CALI Awards in Payment Systems and Illinois Civil Procedure. While attending college and law school, Ms. Besbekos worked as a law clerk for Stoltmann Law Offices.

Ms. Besbekos was admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois in November 2012. Additionally, she was admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in March 2013. She is a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, Justinian Society of Lawyers, Hellenic Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Illinois Bar Association, and Chicago Bar Association.

Email:
Deanna@stoltlaw.com
Phone: 312.332.4200

Alexander Loftus Esq.

Alexander Loftus has won a wide range of significant cases through mediation, arbitration, and trial including claims arising from breach of contract, fraud, construction, shareholder suits, malpractice, and employment. Alexander has handled appeals before the Seventh Circuit, Illinois Appellate Courts, Illinois Supreme Court, and United States Supreme Court. He has tried nearly twenty cases to verdict in state and federal courts in several states and argued dozens of dispositive motions from the Delaware Court of Chancery to Madison County, Illinois.

  • A retired judge who mediated a complex trust case stated, “(Alexander’s) performance in the mediation was outstanding… He spun gold from straw
  • Opposing counsel (successful trial lawyer with over thirty years experience) said at the beginning of his closing argument “I would also like to personally thank Mr. Loftus. Alex, you are a true professional and a gentleman, and he knows more about trying a jury trial case in the State of Illinois than I will every know, so I appreciate your knowledge and expertise.
  • A client in a dispute of $550,000 in estate assets wrote: “Alexander Loftus is an exceptional attorney. He recently represented me on a complex trust litigation matter and throughout, he was extremely thorough and insightful regarding all aspects of my case that would not have been resolved as quickly and effectively had it not been for Alexander’s diligence and outstanding communication skills.”
  • A breach of contract client whose case settled favorably despite facing a significant counterclaim wrote: “Alexander is a very detailed, highly educated attorney… he really takes the time to make sure everything is done correctly and within the law.”

In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Super Lawyers named Alexander as being one of less than 2.5% of Illinois attorneys under age 40 selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars.  Alexander was also included in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. In 2014, Alexander was included in the Top 40 Litigators Under Age 40 by the American Society of Legal Advocates. The American Society of Legal Advocates exclusive membership comprises less than 1.5% of all licensed attorneys nationwide. In 2017 Alexander was included in Acquisition International’s Ones to Watch in Intellectual Property 2017.

Alexander went to college in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. In college he studied Political Science and was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha (national political science honor society). While studying at American University, Alexander held his first legal position as an investigator for Mental Health Division of Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Shortly thereafter, he graduated from DePaul University College of Law with honors in 2010. While at DePaul he was an Editor and Staff Writer for the DePaul/Commercial Law League of America Business & Commercial Law Journal.

Email:
Alex@stoltlaw.com
Phone: 312.772.5396