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]]> Home | Message Board Home Search Arbitration Investors Brokers Finance Law Compliance Archives NFA Proposes Arbitration Changes

Arbitrator Selection, Dollar Limit changes are under consideration

NFA NTM 1-00-08: The National Futures Association has solicited comments from its members and from its arbitrator pool on several changes under consideration to its arbitration and mediation programs.

The Notice to Members, dated June 19, has been made publicly available on the Association’s WebSite (click this URL:

Anticipating possible increases in volume, as a result of technological changes and changes in the futures industry, NFA is contemplating adjustments “to ensure that our services continue to be prompt and efficient.”

One such change might be an increased dollar limit for summary proceedings. For customer-related disputes, that dollar limit is currently $10,000. NFA points out that NASD has raised its limit to $25,000. All cases over $10,000 require an oral hearing before three arbitrators.

NFA might only appoint one arbitrator to hear cases previously heard by three and suggests $50,000 as a possible dollar limit. This would free up more arbitrators, reduce the time to hearing, and lower party fees.

Expanding NFA’s successful mediation program is another plan. To curtail expenses and keep fees down, the expansion would embrace pre-arbitration (straight-in) mediation, with referral of the disputes to “several NFA attorneys who are trained mediators.”

NFA states specific questions relating to the three proposals to which comments might be addressed. Such public exposure of rule proposals in their development stages is salutary. Please consider responding if you have any interest in futures arbitration.

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Nothing herein is intended as legal or financial advice. The law is different in different jurisdictions, and the facts of a particular matter can change the application of the law. Please consult an attorney or your financial advisor before acting upon the information contained in this article. 

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