What is FINRA Arbitration?
You are probably not aware of the fact that virtually every brokerage firm in the county has an “arbitration agreement’ in the paperwork you signed when you opened the account. This is contained in the small print on the back of the documents you signed when you opened your account. The arbitration agreement essentially waives your right to pursue the brokerage firm in court and requires you to seek redress in arbitration, which is practically all cases is conducted before FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, formerly the NASD).
If we file a case on your behalf it will likely be a FINRA arbitration which is first filed in New York and then assigned to the FINRA office nearest to your home address. In Florida, cases are heard in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville. If you are not in Florida, hearings are generally in one or more of the larger cities of your state. For a detailed listing of FINRA regional offices and hearing locations, follow this link.
Arbitrators are selected with limited amount of input from your attorney and the attorneys for the brokerage firm. There are generally three arbitrators. Hearings are generally scheduled a year or less from the time your case is filed.
In most cases, it is common for the parties to have a mediation prior to the final arbitration hearing. Mediation usually takes a full day and often results in the settlement of your case.
We will be happy to explain the details in greater detail when we meet with you.