NASD Stats February 2003

NASD Arbitration Stats – 02/03 

23% increase in 2003 filings, with improved resolution percentages and 15 month turnaround

NASD STATS., 2/03:

The surge of new case filings in January (SAA 03-04) continued in February; in the first two months, the number of new submissions reached almost 1,500. In percentage terms, the increase over last year’s same-period figures stayed, as it was in January, at a high-gallop of 23%. The number of filings compared to last year’s first two months stands at 1,463 versus 1,193.

Close-outs are also up significantly, a very good sign that NASD is managing the workload. 1,132 cases have been closed to date in 2003, which is 20% higher than the close-out rate in the comparable period last year. The number of close-outs also compares favorably with the flow of new submissions at this time last year.

Average turnaround time continues relatively high at 14.7 months, even though average turnaround time for cases going to Award is equal to or better than the rates for the past two years. It does not appear to be the fault of the Panels that turnaround time is on the rise. Comparing the current turnaround time for hearing decisions (16.9) to the 12-month rate in 2002 (16.5) and in 2001 (16.6) shows little deterioration. For simplified decisions, the current rate actually represents an improvement over the 12-month rates for 2002 and 2001. Yet, overall, the turnaround time is enlarging, relative to the 12-month average in 2002 (13.7 months) and the 12-month average in 2001 (13.0 months).

Of course, the absolute number of cases going to Award is higher, so, not surprisingly, the total amount of (non-punitive) damages awarded to customers after decision is increasing. $28 million has been awarded to customers in the first two months of 2003, compared to the record $116 million awarded throughout 2002. On a per Award basis, that reflects an average of $141,463 per customer “win” in 2002 versus an average $195,804 awarded for the first two months of 2003. The customer “win” rate, i.e., how often the customer receives a monetary award compared to all customer cases decided by arbitrators, is also moving up. For January-February 2003, the average stands at 58%, compared to the 12-month rates of 55% in 2002 and 53% in 2001.


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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 -, 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.