All of our readers know that I am a big fan of arbitration, and despite its flaws, a fan of FINRA arbitration, for both my investor and industry clients. As I have written dozens of times, FINRA arbitration is faster, less expensive, and at least as fair as court proceedings.
That is not to say that it does not have its flaws. Scheduling hearings is often a mess, too often arbitrators don’t want to make decisions, and the certainty of evidentiary rulings is iffy, at best.
I have represented parties in other forums, notably the NYSE when it was conducting arbitrations and some of the commodity exchanges. Those all have similar issues.
I have also represented parties in AAA arbitrations, both in the securities and non-securities industries. While the experience at AAA is much smoother than FINRA, there is a significant cost difference. Arbitrations at AAA can cost thousands of dollar more than a FINRA arbitration
I have never conducted a hearing through JAMS, but Alan Wolper, of Ulmer & Berne has written a blog post regarding his recent experience at JAMS. He points out the problems with FINRA arbitration that do not exist at JAMS and gives his JAMS experience a positive review.
AAA and JAMS are more expensive, and sometimes significantly more expensive. However, you often get what you pay for.
Alan’s post is at JDSupra.
Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.