In many legal disputes, both sides prefer to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation, so they will attempt to settle the dispute outside of court. When settlement proves difficult, the two sides may wish to consult a third party to facilitate the negotiations. If a mediator handles the dispute, this is essentially a mediated, informal settlement discussion. However, some people in legal turmoil may wish to avoid court battles as well as the potential fallout from an informal mediation award. In these cases, arbitration offers a speedier and legally binding result.
Arbitration is a valuable legal resource in many lawsuits. It’s vital to understand arbitration and the complex claims process it requires. Erez Law has compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about filing arbitration claims in the securities industry for your reference.
How Does Arbitration Work?
Arbitration is when a neutral, professional third party acts as a mediator in settlement discussions. Unlike settlement and other forms of mediation, arbitration is usually legally binding. When two opposing parties agree to binding arbitration, the arbitrator functions similarly to a judge and neither side may contest the arbitrator’s ruling. The arbitrator’s final decision, or award, is legally enforceable and there are very limited options for appealing a final arbitration decision.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Arbitration?
It’s vital to act quickly when filing your claim, otherwise you risk falling outside the statute of limitations, the time limit for filing legal actions. You’ll need to speak with your attorney to determine which statutes of limitations apply to your situation.
How do I Start the Claim Filing Process?
The Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) handles arbitration claims for the securities industry. FINRA does not handle claims for non-securities industry disputes. You’ll start the arbitration process by filing a Statement of Claim with FINRA, and your case will then transfer to a regional office near your location. FINRA will then assign your case to an arbitrator.
What Happens After I File My Statement of Claim?
FINRA will serve the Statement of Claim for your case to all of the respondents listed in your claim and the opposition and notify all parties of the initial hearing location and date. FINRA does not serve any motions, pleadings, or correspondence after this point. You and the other parties involved must file these documents through FINRA’s online portal. All respondents have 45 calendar days to respond to filed claims.
How Do I Handle Cross-Claims and Counterclaims?
If any parties assert cross-claims or counterclaims, they must serve all parties involved in the claim with copies of these additional claims. If a cross-claim or counterclaim involves a new respondent or defendant, you must supply these parties with the original Statement of Claim and any other pleadings or motions filed before the cross-claim or counterclaim.
What Types of Compensation Can I Win in Arbitration?
You and your attorney must determine what compensation you seek based on the facts of your case. The arbitrator will make a final decision after considering all of the evidence presented by both sides of the dispute.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Arbitration?
It is highly recommended that you retain professional representation for any legal dispute. The opposition will likely have legal counsel, so it’s vital that you secure the same to protect your interests in the case. The law is extremely complex, and untrained individuals often lack the legal acumen to reach successful resolutions. A lawyer will not only help you maximize your compensation, but will also assist with the claims filing process and navigation through arbitration.
Arbitration for securities industry disputes is very complicated and cases often involve various claims, pleadings, motions, and multiple types of damages. One of the best steps you can take toward a positive arbitration result is to hire an experienced securities attorney to handle your case. The lawyers at Erez Law work tirelessly to protect the rights of American investors, so feel free to reach out to our team with any questions you may have about FINRA filings, arbitration, or if you want to schedule a consultation about your case.