Securities Arbitration Information Center

Featured Articles

The Case for Flat Fees For Defense of Securities Arbitration Claims –The defense of customer claims in arbitration can be handled on a flat fee basis. Beam & Astarita, LLC provides the analysis and rationale.

Introduction to Securities Arbitration –The ultimate primer on securities arbitration, authored by Mark J. Astarita, Esq., a New York securities attorney who has represented parties to securities arbitrations in virtually every major city for 20 years. An excellent introduction to the process.

Featured Books

Securities Regulation in a Nutshell – This book summarizes the essential background and current status of each major area, while keeping details and citations to a minimum. It includes references to the relevant statutes, SEC rules and releases, and other governmental materials, as well as to “leading cases.”

Featured Guides and Information

The Arbitrator’s Guide  (PDF 474 KB)
FINRA developed the new Arbitrator’s Guide (Guide) to provide arbitrators with a single resource for case guidance. It replaces the Arbitrator’s Reference Guide and the SICA Arbitrator’s Manual and focuses on the procedures specific to arbitrations administered by FINRA.

Introduction to Securities Arbitration –The ultimate primer on securities arbitration, authored by Mark J. Astarita, Esq., a New York securities attorney who has represented parties to securities arbitrations in virtually every major city for 20 years. An excellent introduction to the process.

Featured  Commentary

UBS’ involvement in Puerto Rico investments continues to explode, as the customer arbitrations against the firm start to heat up.  UBS has confirmed that FINRA and the SEC are not only looking into the recommendations of the funds, but now they ar...
The SEC has approved a FINRA rule proposal which will dramatically change the composition of arbitration panels. For years attorneys who solely represent customers have been complaining that there are too many arbitrators with ties to the securiti...

FINRA is filing a proposed rule change to amend Rules 12214, 12601, 13124 and 13601 to require that parties give more advance notice before cancelling or postponing a hearing, or be assessed a higher late cancellation fee if such notice is not pro...

Experienced securities law attorneys know that it is a violation of FINRA rules to include a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement with a customer that prohibits the customer from discussing the case with a regulator. While we do inc...
It is not often that a public customer is forced to pay a respondent's attorneys fees, but in a recent FINRA arbitration, that is exactly what happened.

According to the description in the FINRA arbitration award it appears that a public customer, ...
A FINRA arbitration panel has dismissed a $32 million claim because the claimant was not a customer of the brokerage firms, and did not have an account with the Respondents.

The Claimant had alleged that he was an undisclosed third-party beneficiar...
Every once in a while a group of customer attorneys bemoan the fact that some arbitration awards go unpaid. It is true - some arbitration awards do in fact go unpaid. So do court judgments, and without the benefit of a study, I would bet that a si...
The 1907 ΑΦΑ Constitution and Bylaws
While the masses complain about mandatory arbitration, Attorney Claudia Allen examines the legal and policy issues raised by arbitration bylaws, whether adopting such bylaws would be attractive to public companies, likely reaction from stockholder...

FINRA announced today the formation of a 13-member Arbitration Task Force to consider possible enhancements to its arbitration forum to improve the transparency, impartiality and efficiency of FINRA's securities arbitration forum for all participa...

Reversing a policy that was an abuse of arbitration policy. legally unenforceable and a complete public relations disaster, General Mills has changed its mind, removed its silly mandatory arbitration policy, and has gone back to its original legal...

Do we measure what we value? - Like many of us, my colleague Erik Girvan wants to know more about whether and how implicit bias affects the mediation process. Erik and his research assistant, Lili McEntire, put together the following report. The term “mediation” is often accomp...
Definitive Answers to Unanswerable Law Review Submission Questions - For those of us who angst when it comes to law review submission season, my colleague Rhett Larson recently answered several law review submission questions that arise every submission season. There is a quote attributed to the screenwriter Willia...
Sternlight: Musings from the CFPB Field Hearing - This dispatch comes from frequent guest blogger Jean Sternlight (UNLV). I am writing this blog having just returned from Denver, where I participated in the Consumer Financial Protection Board Field Hearing discussed yesterday at Indisputably by P...
Negotiating with the Dangerous at Fordham Law School - This dispatch comes from Jackie Nolan-Haley (Fordham) discussing Monday’s program Negotiating with the Dangerous headlines by our very own Andrea. On October 5, 2015, the Fordham Law School Dispute Resolution Society hosted its annual symposium, e...
CFPB to Propose Rule Banning Enforcement of Class Action Waivers in Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements in the Financial Services Industry - Today, the CFPB issued a statement indicating that they are going to propose a rule that would prohibit the financial services industry (banks, credit card issuers etc.) from including class action waiver provisions in pre-dispute arbitration agre...
Student Writing Competition on History of DR – Deadline: Nov. 9 - An announcement from my colleague, S.I. Strong: Dear all I’m pleased to announce that a student writing competition is being organized in conjunction with the annual symposium convened by the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the Unive...
Dispute Resolution Systems and the Future of Our Field - First, I suggested that trials should be considered as part of (A)DR. Now, my school publishes a symposium on judicial education in our Journal of Dispute Resolution. You might understandably wonder if we have lost our freaking minds. I submit not...
Scotus Grants Cert in Another FAA Preemption Case - On the first day of its new term, the Court granted certiorari in another FAA preemption case.  In MHN Government Services v. Zaborowski, the Court agreed to decide whether, as SCOTUS Blog styled it, “California violates federal arbitration law wh...
Law Students Can Choose to Thrive or Merely Survive - Following my post summarizing Lawrence Krieger and Kennon Sheldon’s research on what makes lawyers (and law students) happy, I just saw this blog post with Krieger’s concise and practical message to students based on that research. He tells studen...
HeinOnLine Top 250 Authors - HeinOnLine has unveiled its ScholarRank’s Top 250 Authors. The ranking was compiled as follows: The following list is calculated based on an analysis of all articles in HeinOnline. We then ranked each author in each category: number of times cited...


Uniform Forms Guide – FINRA has put all of its arbitration related forms, including uniform submission agreements and the claim information sheet, in one PDF file, which also contains helpful information regarding the filing of an arbitration claim.

Arbitrator Application – FINRA always needs qualified arbitrators. The process starts with this application

Claimant Submission Agreement – FINRA requires the parties to sign a submission agreement. The claimant’s form is here, respondents recieve the form when they are served with the statement of claim. Respondents file a Respondent Submission Agreement

Request for Mediation – use of FINRA’s mediation services are not required, but this is the form to request FINRA’s assistance in starting the process

Scheduling Order (PDF format 172 KB)
The panel Chairperson has the responsibility to use the Scheduling Order to record the agreements reached during the Initial Prehearing Conference. The Chairperson should submit the Scheduling Order to NASD Dispute Resolution within 48 hours of the conference by electronic mail or facsimile transmission.

Arbitrator’s Prehearing Conference Script (PDF format 78 KB)
The Arbitrator’s Script sets forth the procedures for the Initial Prehearing Conference. In the discretion of the panel, these procedures may be varied to allow all parties a full and fair opportunity to present their respective positions.

NASAD Form of Order on Request for Permanent Injunction (PDF)
The Order on Request for Permanent Injunction is completed by arbitrators to record the arbitrators’ decision on a party’s request for permanent injunction in intra-industry cases.

NASD Form of Order of Production (PDF)
For use in an NASD arbitration, this form is used to compel a party or a member firm, or an associated person to produce documents in an NASD arbitration.

NASD Form of Order of Appearance (PDF)
For use in NASD Arbitrations, this form is used to have an NASD member, or associated person appear and testify an an arbitration hearing.

NASD Form of Arbitration Subpoena (PDF)
For use in NASD Arbitrations, to unregistered third parties.

NASD’s Oath Of Arbitrator (PDF)
Review the Oath of Arbitrator that must be taken by all NASD-approved arbitrators. The oath must be executed by NASD arbitrators for each case on which they serve.

Arbitrator Update Form (PDF)
If you are already an arbitrator on the NASD roster, use this online form to update NASD Dispute Resolution of any new or revised information about your status.


Introductory Material

Introduction to the Federal Securities Laws – It all starts here. A primer on the federal securities laws.

Introduction to Securities Arbitration – The ultimate primer on securities arbitration, authored by Mark J. Astarita, Esq., a New York securities attorney who has represented parties to securities arbitrations in virtually every major city for 25 years. An excellent introduction to the process.

Typical Customer Arbitration Disputes – An overview of the claims which are typically brought by retail customers against their stock brokers.

Churned or Traded? – An examination of the elements of a churning claim, and what makes a churned account different from a traded account.

Judging Suitability – A broker’s recommendations to a customer must be suitable for that customer’s investment goals and experience. What does that mean in the real world, and how is suitability determined?


Article Archives

Article Archives – Collection of all of the arbitration articles and commentary from the site, arranged in chronological order. You can also search the site for relevant commentary

Arbitration Codes and Statutes

Federal Arbitration Act
The Federal Statute governing arbitration proceedings

FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes
FINRA’S rules for the arbitration of disputes between firms and customers.
FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes
FINRA’s rules for the arbitration of disputes between firms or registered persons.
AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules
From the American Arbitration Association, the rules, the procedures and more. The AAA’s commercial arbitration, with its securities supplement apply to securities arbitrations at the American Arbitration Association.

Uniform Arbitration Act
This is the model Act, used as the basis for the drafting of state statutes relating to arbitration.

Introduction to FINRA Mediation
FINRA’s introduction to its mediation program, an alternate means of resolving disputes with securities brokers.



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