When you have an investment fraud or misconduct claim, you will likely be facing mandatory arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). All brokerage firms in the country force their customers to sign customer agreements that contain mandatory arbitration clauses - if you have a dispute against them, you cannot go to court. You must file your case in FINRA arbitration.
The brokerage firm will most certainly have high-powered sophisticated corporate lawyers defending them. It is therefore imperative that you have an experienced securities arbitration attorney on your side, protecting your interests and fighting for your rights.
Securities arbitration, an alternative to litigation, is the process of resolving a dispute between parties before a panel of arbitrators selected through a process agreed to by the parties. An arbitration award is final and binding with a limited review available by the courts.
Why Are These Cases Handled in Mandatory Arbitration?
At the time you hired your broker, you were given many documents to sign and complete. In most all cases, these papers included a mandatory arbitration provision, which specifically stated that disputes must be arbitrated. Essentially, this provision means the case will not go to court. Most investors don’t pay close attention to this provision until an issue arises.
To initiate an arbitration proceeding, you, or your attorney, will need to file a Statement of Claim and Uniform Submission Agreement with FINRA. Once these forms are filed and the appropriate fees are paid, the parties named in the Statement of Claim will be notified.
They must file an answer within 45 days. If the claim proceeds to arbitration, the case will be heard in front of an arbitration panel consisting of one to three individuals. They will listen to the testimony and evidence presented by both sides, before they reach their decision. The panel’s decision is referred to as an award, and is final and binding. There are only very few circumstances in which an arbitration award can be challenged.
While you may have no other option but securities arbitration, it definitely has its advantages:
Arbitration does have disadvantages, such as the following:
The brokerage firm will have sophisticated lawyers on their side who are well-versed in the securities rules, regulations, and procedures. You need a securities arbitration attorney who has experience and resources to help you win your case. At Meyer Wilson, we have represent individual and institutional investors from across the country in securities arbitration, litigation, mediation, and class action lawsuits. We are a law firm that other attorneys turn to when their clients have stockbroker misconduct or investment fraud claims. Our stockbroker arbitration lawyers are licensed in Ohio, California, and Michigan, and represent investors nationwide.