Bentley P. Stansbury III

Bentley P. Stansbury III


Focusing on financial services litigation, Bentley Stansbury regularly handles proceedings in state court, federal court and in arbitration. Bentley represents clients in securities, employment, commercial, real estate and probate disputes. He has secured defense verdicts on behalf of broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, clearing firms, investment banks and individual financial advisers.

In connection with his representation of financial institutions, Bentley has defended claims relating to regulatory/self-regulatory organization rule violations, Ponzi schemes, alternative investments and clearing firm liability. He also defends clients in employment disputes, and has handled claims related to harassment, discrimination, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, whistleblower, retaliation and wrongful termination.

More broadly, Bentley represents individual and institutional clients across a range of sectors in single-plaintiff and complex commercial litigation. He has brought suit related to and defended clients against claims arising from real estate transactions, commercial contracts and business-to-business disputes. Bentley also advises third parties in handling subpoenas and navigating discovery-related issues. He has argued on behalf of clients in state and federal court — including at the appellate level — and in arbitration before JAMS, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Bentley also provides representation to his financial services clients arising out of probate and divorce proceedings.

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Representative Matters

  • Represented financial services firms in more than 150 arbitrations filed before FINRA, AAA and/or JAMS.*
  • Obtained motion for directed verdict on behalf of a broker-dealer client following the close of the claimant’s evidence in a seven-figure arbitration claim brought by a customer alleging that investments recommended to her were unsuitable.*
  • Successfully defended an investment advisory firm against claims under the Investment Advisers Act brought by high net-worth investors seeking millions in damages as a result of allegedly inappropriate investment recommendations.*
  • Successfully defended a broker-dealer in arbitration against a claim brought by a former financial adviser who alleged the firm failed to provide adequate notice of trade restrictions.*
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 500 financial services company in a competitive claim against a registered investment adviser arising out of claims relating to violation of a non-competition agreement and the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.*
  • Successfully defended an investment bank against claims by a former employee relating to alleged entitlement to bonus payments stemming from closed private equity transactions.*
  • Successfully defended a fintech company in claims brought by a former customer in FINRA arbitration relating to allegedly fraudulent banking transactions.*
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California based on an interpretation of a California statute relating to homeowners, then successfully argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to sustain the dismissal of the lawsuit.*
  • Successfully defended one of the world’s largest lenders in connection with claims arising out of mortgage transactions before a Superior Court judge in California.*
  • Tried a $35 million claim to jury in California filed on behalf of an oil company against a plant operator relating to allegedly negligent work in connection with a refinery fire.*
  • Obtained dismissal of a $6 million arbitration claim against a broker-dealer as a sanction for repeated discovery violation.*
  • Obtained pre-hearing dismissal of an arbitration claim based on statutory violations by the claimant.*
  • Defended an investment bank in Los Angeles Superior Court against a claim by a Belize-based company alleging negligent and intentional interference with a business relationship.*
  • Defended a Fortune 500 financial services company in a mass action pending arbitration relating to alternative investments made by investors across the United States.*
*Includes representations prior to joining Stradley Ronon.
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Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Washington
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • J.D., University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  • B.A., cum laude, University of California, Berkeley

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Arbitrating in the FINRA Forum,” SIFMA C&L Annual Seminar
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  • The Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America (2023-24)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (2021-23)
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In The Community

Bentley raises awareness of mental health issues on behalf of the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI).
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