Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process that is non-binding. The mediator is a neutral third-party who will facilitate negotiations between you and the brokerage firm; however, he or she will not be the one to make a final decision. The mediator may provide an evaluation of the claims and defenses and may also recommend a settlement to both sides but cannot force either party to accept the recommendation.
Since the mediation process is non-binding, most investment firms will not pay the full value of the claims in a mediation session unless a formal arbitration claim is also pending. Mediation and arbitration can occur on parallel tracks so that if an acceptable compromise is not reached during mediation, the formal arbitration process can continue and move toward a final hearing (which will result in a binding determination of the claim).
Attempting to resolve an investment dispute on your own is not advisable. The firm will try to limit their liability and will hire sophisticated lawyers who are well-versed in the intricacies of the securities laws and regulations
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