Arbitration is a dispute resolution mechanism wherein opposing parties submit their claims to a panel of arbitrators who will then render a binding decision. Usually the panel is composed of one "industry" person and two non-industry. The non-industry arbitrators come from a variety of professional backgrounds, which may include accountants, attorneys, bankers, retired judges and educators. The arbitral process replaces the traditional court procedure and is generally quicker and less costly. The panel will hear the issues as presented by the parties and study the evidence but arbitration does not involve depositions, motions and appeals. Arbitration awards are subject to review by a court in certain limited situations.
Hearings are generally held within one year of the filing of a claim. Arbitrations hearings are usually held in a conference room. While the setting is fairly casual, arbitrators tend to strictly enforce various rules that are believed to ensure fairness. New evidence is not allowed at the last minute, as everything you wish to present must be given to the other side at least 20 days before the hearing. In fact, there are numerous disclosures of documents and information from both sides in the months leading up to the final hearing. While there are some benefits to arbitration over a full court proceeding, most of the benefits give advantage to the large brokerage companies and not the individual investor.
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Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing The SEC has issued an update of a previous alert warning investors of scammers posing as SEC employees soliciting personal and financial information. In the warning, the SEC reminds the public that it does not allow financial solicitation offers, offer assistance in the sale or purchase of securities, or endorse money [...]