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FINRA

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Media Contact:
Thursday, July 15, 1999
Amy Hyland
(202) 728-8304

NASD Regulation Kicks Off Settlement Month and Offers Special Prices for Mediation Services

Settlement Month Marks Fourth Year Of NASD Regulation’s Mediation Program

 

Washington, D.C.—NASD Regulation, Inc., today announced the start of Settlement Month, an annual program to promote the use of mediation as an alternative to arbitration. From July 15 to August 15, the benefits and advantages of mediation will be offered to parties in the Northeast region at significant cost reductions.

 

Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding dispute resolution process in which an impartial individual, trained in facilitation and negotiation techniques, helps parties to find common ground and reach a settlement. Mediation is a unique process in that there are no "winners" and "losers"; instead, the mediator assists the parties in reaching a compromise that is acceptable to all.

 

"We are proud to celebrate the fourth year of what continues to be a growing and successful mediation program. Over 3,000 cases have come into the mediation forum since it began in 1995. We hope Settlement Month will encourage more people to think about mediation as a less expensive and highly effective alternative to arbitration," said Linda D. Fienberg, NASD Regulation Executive Vice President.

 

Parties using mediation succeed in reaching a settlement 80 percent of the time. NASD Regulation’s Office of Dispute Resolution reports that parties choose mediation in 20 percent of cases administered through its dispute resolution program.

 

While prices for mediation during Settlement Month will be reduced, the mediators available will continue to be of the highest quality.

"Every mediator admitted to NASD Regulation’s roster has met the demands of highly selective qualification criteria, has demonstrated experience in resolving disputes and has completed a demanding training program. We are proud of all our mediators and believe the public will be very pleased with their skills," said George Friedman, Senior Vice President and Director, NASD Regulation Office of

 

Dispute Resolution. The fees during the Northeast region’s Settlement Month are as follows:

  • Cases up to $25,000 of compensatory/actual damages alleged will receive a four-hour pro-bono mediation with no administrative fees assessed.
  • Cases with $25,001-$50,000 of compensatory/actual damages alleged will receive a four-hour mediation at $200 per party.
  • Cases with more than $50,000 of compensatory/actual damages alleged will receive an eight-hour mediation at $600 per party.

The flat-rate prices are designed to provide parties with consistent cost-savings for cases of any dollar value.

 

"Most parties that come into the mediation forum are seeking compensatory damages greater than $25,000 because, at that level, mediation is less expensive than arbitration. While Settlement Month is designed to attract all parties to the mediation forum, we think the event will be most compelling for parties in the smaller cases. Our goal is to open up the mediation forum to users who might not normally consider it, and the special rates will encourage such people," said NASD Regulation’s Kenneth Andrichik, Director of Mediation.

 

Settlement Month will be available at NASD Regulation Dispute Resolution hearing locations in Albany, NY; Baltimore, MD.; Boston, MA.; Buffalo, NY; New York, NY; Norfolk, VA; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA; and Washington, DC.

 

NASD Regulation plans to offer Settlement Month programs in its Southeast, Midwest and Western regions in October and November, 1999. Descriptions of Settlement Month programs, which may vary somewhat by region, will be available on the NASD Regulation Web site.

 

Persons interested in the mediation program should contact Kenneth Andrichik, Director of Mediation, or Elizabeth McCoy, Assistant Director of Mediation, at 212-858-4400. The Northeast mediation region also has a toll-free number: 1-888-NY-MEDI8 (888-696-3348).

 

NASD Regulation oversees all U.S. stockbrokers and brokerage firms with public customers. NASD Regulation and The Nasdaq-Amex Market Group, Inc., are subsidiaries of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., the largest securities-industry self-regulatory organization in the United States.