Virtually every person who opens an account with a brokerage firm/broker-dealer signs a binding agreement to arbitrate any dispute they have with that investment broker. In the United States, securities-related arbitrations are handled through FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA arbitration is also the forum for resolving all employment disputes involving broker-dealers.
While there are a variety of circumstances which would make litigation more appropriate for a securities dispute, the arbitration clause will usually be enforced and the parties will need to resolve their disputes through FINRA arbitration.
Knowledgeable Attorney ▪ Experienced FINRA Arbitrator
San Diego FINRA arbitrations attorney Virginia Gaburo represents consumers, investors and brokerage firms throughout Southern California and the United States in FINRA arbitrations. She has also served on the FINRA arbitration panels since 2004. If you would like to learn more about FINRA arbitration or are looking for an experienced attorney to represent you through the process, call our law firm at 858-546-0183 or contact us online.
History of FINRA Arbitrations
The brokerage industry is self-regulated. As long as securities broker-dealers regulate themselves properly, Congress and the SEC stay hands-off. Dispute resolution involving broker-dealers, once handled through the NASD, the New York Stock Exchange, and other arbitration forums, is now handled entirely through FINRA. Thus, FINRA arbitrations are an extremely important part of managing the financial industry and ensuring that all parties are acting appropriately.
FINRA Arbitration Panels
The FINRA arbitrators are third-party neutrals who act in the place of judges. Depending upon the amount of money involved in your broker-dealer dispute, you will be provided with one or three arbitrators. For lower amounts of money, there will only be one arbitrator deciding your case. For greater amounts of money, there will be three arbitrators: two public arbitrators and one arbitrator from the industry. The industry arbitrator usually has been or is currently employed by a broker-dealer or has strong ties to the industry.
How FINRA Arbitration Works
Unlike litigation, FINRA arbitrations are not bound by federal or state rules of evidence and rarely involve depositions. They are generally faster and less expensive than litigation.
In FINRA arbitration proceedings, parties are required to voluntarily exchange discovery information and documents. This greatly facilitates the pre-hearing discovery process.
Investment arbitration is expert-intensive. In most cases, you are not going to win unless you have experts on your side. This can greatly increase the cost of arbitration, but it is a necessary expense. Securities attorney Virginia Gaburo has cultivated an excellent network of experts, including compliance experts, suitability experts, experts on supervision and standards of care, damages experts and tax experts.
To discuss FINRA arbitration with an experienced securities attorney and FINRA arbitrator, please call Ms. Gaburo at 858-546-0183, or, if you prefer, you may fill out our intake formand we will contact you.