Mediation vs. Arbitration

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers securities dispute resolution services to public customers, as well as to FINRA member firms and their employees. As a self-regulatory organization, FINRA is subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Resolving Securities Disputes Through Mediation and Arbitration

To assist in the resolution of monetary and business disputes between investors and their securities firms, FINRA Dispute Resolution operates the largest dispute resolution forum in the securities industry. FINRA Dispute Resolution handles nearly 7,000 arbitration cases and more than 1,000 mediations annually.

Experienced in Securities Mediation and Arbitration

If you believe you were put at risk from stockbroker misconduct or investor fraud, contact my Chicago investment firm for a free initial consultation. I am John C. Barlow with more than 33 years of securities law experience and can help you determine if you have a valid claim.

The Mediation Process:

FINRA employs more than 900 mediators with diverse backgrounds who have met rigorous mediator training and mediator experience standards. Many are experienced arbitrators, attorneys and securities industry professionals who are knowledgeable in employment and securities issues.

Below are the benefits of resolving a dispute through mediation:

  • It is voluntary: Disputing parties can voluntarily decide to go through mediation to resolve their differences. The parties in conflict will be responsible to decide on a mediator, when the mediation will take place, and how the dispute will be settled.
  • It is informal: In mediation, an impartial mediator focuses on helping the parties find common ground when seeking to resolve a dispute.
  • It is inexpensive: The mediation process is less expensive than arbitration or securities litigation.
  • It is non-binding: Unlike other forms of dispute resolution, such as arbitration and litigation, the mediator does not impose a solution or decide your case. Instead, the mediator guides or helps the parties reach a resolution. Parties may still arbitrate their dispute if they are unable to agree to a settlement.
  • It is a “win-win” solution: The mediator’s role is to help the parties find a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. Since the inception of the program in 1995, more than 6,000 cases have been filed in mediation. Parties who mediate at this forum resolve four out of every five disputes, an 80% settlement rate.

The Arbitration Process:

FINRA employs more than 900 arbitrators with diverse backgrounds who have met rigorous arbitrator training and arbitrator experience standards. Many are educators, accountants, lawyers, business experts or securities professionals. Arbitration is known to be:

  • Impartial: Based on the size of your securities fraud claim, your dispute will be heard by one or more impartial arbitrators. Arbitrators are selected by the parties through an automated system that produces arbitrator lists. Parties may remove any listed arbitrator for any reason. They are encouraged to rank the remaining arbitrators, according to preference.
  • Cost-effective: Arbitration is faster, less expensive, and less formal than litigation.
  • Convenient: FINRA Dispute Resolution conducts arbitrations in every state. In cases involving securities customers, the hearing location is closest to the customer’s residence at the time the dispute arose.
  • Fair: During the hearing, parties make brief opening statements explaining what they intend to prove and what relief (e.g., money damages) is sought. Parties have the opportunity to present documents and witnesses in support of their positions, to object to documents and to question witnesses presented by other parties, and to make closing remarks to summarize their positions.
  • Final and binding: Arbitrators evaluate the evidence and arguments presented and reach a final and binding decision (the “award”). Awards are only subject to court review on very limited grounds.
  • Expedient: Arbitrators endeavor to render the award within 30 business days after the close of the proceeding.

Contact Chicago, Illinois, Securities Dispute Attorney John C. Barlow

If you are dealing with a securities dispute, contact my law firm for a free initial consultation in Chicago, Illinois. I have more than 33 years of experience and can help you understand the benefits of pursuing a resolution through mediation or arbitration. Most of my claims are handled on a contingency basis, so you will owe me nothing unless I am able to recover compensation for you.