Many investor disputes are successfully resolved in securities mediation. During the mediation process, negotiations take place between both parties with the assistance of a mediator. Sometimes, an acceptable resolution cannot be reached. If both parties decide that continuing to mediate will not be beneficial or if the negotiations have come to a standstill, arbitration may be pursued.
Mediation and arbitration are often pursued on parallel tracks, meaning that a mediation may be scheduled while the arbitration claim is pending. In these circumstances, if the mediation does not result in the successful resolution of the claim, the parallel arbitration continues toward a final hearing. Given the non-binding nature of mediation, most securities attorneys do not recommend participating in a mediation unless and until an arbitration is commenced, absent extraordinary circumstances.
Even if a settlement cannot be reached in securities mediation, it does not mean that time was wasted. Mediation often helps both parties identify the various aspects of the case, plus assists in the preparation of the final arbitration hearing.