Howard is a class action lawyer who has been doing complex litigation for forty-four years. He started his career at a large law firm representing Fortune 500 companies followed by partnership at a mid-size firm. Twenty-six years ago, he started his own firm to represent consumers and investors in class actions and securities arbitrations. He has helped to recover millions of dollars for plaintiffs. He is admitted in Illinois and has inactive bar status in Florida and California. Selected as Illinois Super Lawyer - 2019, 2020.
Howard has been involved in about 100 reported federal court cases and FINRA arbitration awards. He litigates cases across the country co-counseling with large firms and local counsel as needed. He has done FINRA arbitration hearings in New York, Illinois, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Washington, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Arizona, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Arkansas, and New Hampshire. He has co-counseled class actions and class complaints in New York, Illinois, California, and Delaware. His clients have spanned the gamut from financially unsophisticated retirees to Goldman Sachs partners to a fraternal organization with more than $25 billion in assets.
If you feel that you have been subject to unlawful acts that may warrant the filing of a class action, please call us for a free consultation. We will be happy to evaluate your claim and explain how class actions work.
We are currently working on timeshare cases. We are also investigating in claims involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, bank overcharges, breaches of insurance policies, mislabeling of food products, investor fraud, Ponzi schemes and breaches of form consumer contracts.
Howard began in "big law" at the Sonnenschein firm, now Dentons, doing legal work for large corporate clients such as Allstate Insurance and McDonald's Corporation. He then became a litigation partner at a fifty person law firm in Chicago doing corporate litigation for mid-sized companies. In 1994, he started his own practice representing plaintiffs. He joint ventures with other plaintiffs' firms as needed. He is admitted in Illinois and has inactive status in California and Florida.
Howard regularly speaks and writes on litigation issues and securities law. His articles have have been published in the ABA Section of Litigation Journal and the PIABA Law Journal (Public Investors Advocate Bar Association). He taught a writing seminar on class actions at Chicago Kent Law School. He has presented half a dozen times at meetings of PIABA. Howard graduated from Stanford Law School where he was on the Law Review. He was Phi Beta Kappa at Haverford College with a double major, and served on the Alumni Association Executive Committee. He has been a member of the Chicago Literary Club for over thirty years, served as on the Board as Treasurer. He was also a member of the Committees of Officers and Members, Arrangements and Exercises, and Publications. He has presented eight papers at the Club. His novel, The Ponzi Scheme, based on his representing dozens of investors in a German schneeball scheme, is available on amazon.com.
Howard's wife Liza retired after being a partner at a large international accounting firm. Daughter Meg graduated from Vassar, and then got a Masters degree in Education from Northwestern. She teaches French at a Chicago public high school. Daughter Annie graduated as a high school valedictorian, and then Stanford University with various academic honors. She received an academic scholarship to Northwestern Law School where she graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, and was Editor in Chief of the Law Review. She will be clerking in the Northern District of Illinois and then the DC Court of Appeals.
Our email is or call us at 708 203-5747.
We look forward to working with you.
Claims brought for investors include the recommendation of unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations, and unauthorized trading. We will evaluate your claim without charge to you. All representation is done on a contingent fee basis.
Consumer claims include telemarketing cases brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other consumer fraud causes of action.
Overview of practice:
What Our Clients Say
Law Offices of Howard B. Prossnitz
1014 Ontario Street
Oak Park, IL 60302
Telephone: (708) 203-5747
Far above Legal Counsel.
Posted by Luis Roberto Fernandez Diaz
April 2, 2018
World class representation in a reliable and professional style. Exceptional communication with outstanding capabilities. This is the real thing.
This review is from a person who hired this attorney. Hired attorney
Posted by Blair
April 2, 2018
I reached out to Mr. Prossnitz (on a holiday weekend no less) to assist with a brokerage firm that was mishandling funds of mine. I received a phone call the very same day and explained my situation. Mr. Prossnitz delivered on his promise to contact this firm and try to rectify the situation that Monday. Monday came I was CC'd on some emails he had sent to this firm and the situation is being resolved. I'm so happy with the swift response and action that Mr. Prossnitz has taken. I was beginning to feel like I had no options left and i would loose the money I had saved.
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
Howard has been doing complex litigation for forty-six years, first at a large defense firm, then as a litigation partner at a 50 lawyer corporate firm in Chicago, and since 1994 at his own firm. He currently focuses on consumer class actions and FINRA cases for investors who sustained substantial losses. He has served as an arbitrator on FINRA panels giving him a complete perspective on the process.
Howard is a long time member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, wrote one of the first articles on Rule 11 for the ABA Journal on Litigation, has done empirical research and written articles on securities arbitration for the PIABA Bar Journal, served as a speaker at PIABA annual meetings, has been a member of the Chicago Literary Club since 1988, served as Treasurer and committee member at the Club, and has presented numerous papers on topics ranging from Charles II, to Anita Brooker and Frank Lloyd Wright.
He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Haverford College '73; and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School '76 where he was on the Law Review. His wife Liza is a retired partner at an international accounting firm.
Publications and Writing: Howard was on the Stanford Law Review. His first article appeared in the ABA's Section of Litigation Journal in 1983. He did an empirical study on who wins FINRA cases for the PIABA Bar Journal. He has presented many papers at the Chicago Literary Club.
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Letter to Editor New York Times 12/30/15
To the Editor:
You prematurely report that judges “routinely” side with debt collectors in their efforts to block class actions and force disputes into arbitration. I have a putative class case pending in federal court in Chicago against New York-based debt collectors who filed hundreds of small-claim cases in Illinois state court.
The judge denied an initial motion to dismiss by the debt collectors. The action is on behalf of consumers who had default judgments entered against them in state court after the debt collectors ignored mandatory arbitration clauses.
Consumers should not give up on asserting their claims in federal court. The law is still evolving. Victims of deceptive collection practices should not conclude that the situation is hopeless. It is way too early to tell how the majority of courts will handle this issue.
HOWARD B. PROSSNITZ
The writer is a consumer rights lawyer.
New FINRA Task Force to Review Arbitration
Diana Britton | Jul 17, 2014 wealthmanagement.com
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has assembled a 13-person task force to recommend improvements to the arbitration process. The task force will be charged with enhancing “the transparency, impartiality and efficiency of FINRA’s securities arbitration forum for all participants,” the agency said in a statement Thursday.
“I think FINRA felt they would benefit from a thorough review of the arbitration system to make sure it is functioning as intended,” said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America, a member of the new task force. “I was happy to be a part of that process, particularly since they did such a good job of ensuring that all viewpoints would be represented.” .
The task force is made up of seven public members and six industry members. ....
FINRA has made several changes to the arbitration process over the last decade, said Linda Fienberg, president of FINRA Dispute Resolution.
“We think that this is a good time to take a look at all those reforms, see where we’re going, and if there are other kind of enhancements that the forum should be promoting.”
For example, investors now have the option to select an all-public panel in a three-person case. FINRA has also recently taken action to tighten restrictions on industry insiders’ ability to serve as public arbitrators. In June, the watchdog asked the SEC to approve a new rule that would bar anyone with direct ties to the financial services industry from serving as a public arbitrator.
They’ve also made changes to the discovery process in terms of the production of lists. Another change has been a rule that limits the ability of firms to move to dismiss a case until after the customer has been able to present their case and evidence to the arbitrators. FINRA also now has a mediation program allowing for small claims to be conducted by telephone.
The FINRA arbitration process has long been criticized by many in the advisor industry.
“It is encouraging that they’re doing this, and it’s encouraging that the composition of the panel is evenly weighted between claimants’ attorneys and industry representatives,” said Howard Prossnitz, an attorney with The Law Offices of Howard B. Prossnitz and a member of Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. “It’s the first time they’ve done this, and it’s an opportunity to look at some of the big issues that haven’t been discussed before.”
One possible issue the task force could look at would be the downward trend in what claimants recover. Prossnitz said claimants now recover 44 percent of the time, down from as high as 55 percent, and when they do recover, they typically get one-third of what they’re seeking.
“The elephant in the room, which no one ever really wants to discuss, is mandatory arbitration,” Prossnitz added.
He believes people should have the option of going to court.
There are also limited ways to get a case thrown out, said Richard Roth, founder and partner of The Roth Law Firm in New York. In court, you can file a motion to dismiss or a motion to summary judgment. “In arbitration, you’re pretty much stuck with the hearing.”
The arbitration process is also much longer than people would anticipate, Roth said. The average case takes about a year, he said, while some can go on for four or five years.
Roth believes the task force is a good step in the right direction to analyze the pros and cons of the arbitration process.
“My guess is they’re going to suggest tweaks here and there, but this is not going to be a major overhaul.”
At the end of its review, the task force will make recommendations to the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC), FINRA's Standing Board Advisory Committee.
Broker's Clients Want Company to Refund Investments
Posted March 20, 2007 wral.com
Updated March 21, 2007
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — People who say they were ripped off by a Rocky Mount investment broker are fighting to get their money back.
Joe Jones is accused of defrauding hundreds of Nash County clients out of $8 million. In 2005, a grand jury handed up 100 separate indictments against Jones, who investigators say put clients' money in an illegal pyramid scheme disguised as a Charlotte concert promoter called BAB Productions.
The clients can't get any money back from Jones, so now some are going after the company under which he operated, Investors Capital Corporation. An arbitration hearing was held Tuesday at a Raleigh hotel for 12 people who say they lost all their savings to Jones.
“You see a great big light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mary Henderson, who told WRAL she lost $180,000. “That was my retirement that was for me to live on for the rest of my life. Now I have to go back to work.”
Chicago-based attorney Howard Prossnitz is representing Henderson and 11 other clients in arbitration against Investors Capital.
“(Jones) is going to trial next month on criminal charges,” Prossnitz said. “We're not optimistic that we could ever get money from him. The firm should have caught what he was doing. They had a duty to supervise him.”
“I had heard that Investor Capital was a good company, so that's why I went to Joe Jones,” Henderson said.
Attorneys for Investors Capital have no comment for now, but their line of questioning early in the arbitration suggests they believe their company name never appeared on any BAB contracts before authorities shut down Jones' office.
Because this is an investor dispute, clients are required to go through arbitration instead of the court system. The hearing is expected to last at least a week.
The Ponzi Scheme
Howard wrote a novel based on his trips to Germany in connection with representing victims of a massive German financial fraud which had ties to Chicago.
BRAVO! What a suspenseful read-couldn't put this book down!
Great way to learn about Ponzi Schemes and the impacts they can have on society (not to mention the evil characters who initiate them, and the hero who can save the day). Enjoyed the vivid descriptions of wining and dining around France and Germany too- this book made me feel like I was traveling around the world from my armchair at home.
Highly recommend this for you if you enjoy suspenseful novels and learning about finance/ politics.
The Ponzi Scheme is reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen's darkly hilarious sense of humor and contains food descriptions that would make MFK Fisher jealous! It also offers an inside view of working for Big Law, sure to make the law student in your life laugh. From the opening scene which ends with a nose fragment on a road sign to the last pages, this book is a wild ride through Europe and the world of class action law.
Whether you're a foodie, hipster, Stanford law grad, travel junkie, or a writer yourself, you will enjoy The Ponzi Scheme. It's Larry David meets John Grisham.