FINRA Arbitration Lawyer
Alternative dispute resolution can effectively and efficiently resolve your securities disputes — especially when you work with an experienced FINRA arbitration lawyer. However, while arbitration offers many benefits, it also poses certain risks. Before you participate in arbitration or mediation, consult with Mangum & Associates. We can guide you through this complex and nuanced process.
As one of the country’s premier, boutique securities law firms, we assist clients of every size with their securities-related dispute claims. To learn more about FINRA arbitration, contact us today.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?
Conflict is inevitable, especially when you’re dealing with high-stakes securities transactions. When disputes occur, many people and entities turn to alternative dispute resolution to settle their issues. Methods of ADR include:
- Mediation: A process where a specially-trained, neutral mediator helps the parties identify common ground with the goal of settling their dispute.
- Arbitration: A panel of specially-trained arbitrators hears each parties’ side of the story, reviews evidence, and issues a decision out-of-court.
Compared to litigation, mediation and arbitration are affordable and fast.
What Is FINRA?
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is a not-for-profit organization that aims to protect investors and ensure market integrity. It issues rules that govern licensed brokers’ behavior and engages in investigations when there are allegations of broker misconduct. FINRA also arbitrates countless disputes between investors, brokers, brokerage firms, and other entities.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of FINRA Arbitration?
Before you initiate the process, it’s important that prospective parties understand its pros and cons.
- Cost: While costs associated with arbitration can vary, it is typically less expensive than trying the same matter in court.
- Time: Compared to traditional litigation, arbitration is significantly faster from start-to-finish.
- Finality: In binding arbitration, the arbitrators’ decision cannot be appealed, eliminating worries about unending litigation. While finality offers benefits, it also poses risks. If you are not fully prepared for your arbitration, you may make serious mistakes that cost you your claim — and you cannot appeal.
- Privacy: Unlike a court case, arbitration is private and typically confidential. While some parties love the private nature of arbitration, others would prefer greater transparency.
- Perceptions of an Uneven Playing Field: Some individuals worry that private arbitrators, who are often well-connected in the securities world, struggle with neutrality.
To counteract these worries, you should always consult with an experienced FINRA arbitration lawyer. They can help you properly develop your claims, prepare for your arbitration panel, and address any concerns that you may have about the process.
An attorney that represents you during arbitration or mediation proceedings can provide experience, direction, and advice. Brokerage firms are generally represented by an attorney in an arbitration proceeding, so even if you choose not to hire an attorney, there might be one representing the firm or individual on the other side.
FINRA Arbitration Process
If you opt for FINRA arbitration, or have an arbitration clause within a contract, you’ll follow a set process. If your dispute involves $50,000 or less, a single arbitrator will hear your claim. This arbitrator can hold an in-person, traditional hearing, a phone hearing, or a “paper hearing,” where they solely review your documentation and written arguments and issue a decision.
However, if your case involves more than $100,000, you will typically have an in-person arbitration hearing before a panel of three FINRA arbitrators. At this hearing, your FINRA arbitration lawyer will have an opportunity to present your legal arguments and evidence, and rebut the other parties’ contentions.
Then, the arbitrators will then have an opportunity to review all of your documents and evidence. Finally, they will issue a decision or award. Typically, this award is final and cannot be appealed. However, federal and state laws do outline certain circumstances where parties can vacate a FINRA arbitration.
Warning About Non-Attorney Representatives
FINRA does permit non-attorney representatives to handle arbitrations. However, the agency does caution individuals and entities from relying on these non-attorney groups. Unlike an experienced securities lawyer, non-attorney representatives are not bound by the legal profession’s rigorous ethical and professional guidelines. They also have highly-variable qualifications.
When you are facing a significant securities dispute, it is not in your best interest to place your trust in someone who is not a licensed attorney — especially when you’re dealing with a complicated FINRA arbitration hearing.
Request a Consultation With a FINRA Arbitration Lawyer
At Mangum & Associates, we believe that the advantages of FINRA arbitration significantly outweigh its disadvantages. That’s why we help our clients navigate this important and sometimes emotionally-charged process. To request a complimentary consultation with an experienced FINRA arbitration lawyer, contact us today.