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FINRA

 

FOR RELEASE:
CONTACT:
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Michael Shokouhi 202-728-8304



 

 

NASD Dispute Resolution has Second Consecutive Record Year

Washington, DC — NASD Dispute Resolution had its second consecutive record year with 7,704 new cases filed in its arbitration forum in 2002. This represents an increase of 789 cases or an 11 percent increase in the number of cases filed over 2001, and 39 percent over 2000. Parties filed an additional 275 cases directly in mediation, up from 173 in the previous year.

 

In cases brought by investors, arbitrators awarded damages in 2002 totaling $139 million, $23 million of which was for punitive damages, compared to $97 million and $15 million, respectively, in 2001. As in prior years, approximately 60 percent of all claims were resolved between the parties before reaching an arbitration award.

 

In 2002 the mediation forum closed 1,360 cases with 82 percent of the cases reaching a settlement. In the past seven years, parties have used the mediation process in almost 7,500 cases with 79 percent resulting in an agreement between the parties.

 

Additional statistics on arbitration and mediation at NASD Dispute Resolution can be found at www.nasdadr.com.

 

In addition, NASD Dispute Resolution announced the formation of its Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, formerly a satellite office of the New York Regional Office. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Office will handle securities arbitration matters in Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, Norfolk, VA, Charlotte, NC, and Raleigh, NC. The new office consists of twelve full-time staff members who administer approximately 1,200 cases annually with a roster of approximately 650 arbitrators.

 

NASD Dispute Resolution, Inc. is the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the world and includes both arbitration and mediation programs. It assists in the resolution of monetary and business disputes between investors and securities firms, and employment and business disputes between associated persons and securities firms.

 

Arbitration is a dispute resolution mechanism to help determine if aggrieved parties are entitled to recover damages. In arbitration, an impartial person or panel hears all sides of the issues as presented by the parties, studies the evidence, and then decides how the matter should be resolved. Arbitration is final and binding, subject to review by a court only on a very limited basis. Both mediation and arbitration benefit parties by providing prompt, inexpensive alternatives to litigation in the courts. Parties can choose NASD arbitrators and mediators who are carefully selected from a broad cross-section of people, diverse in culture, profession, and background.

 

Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding dispute resolution process in which a trained, impartial individual helps participants negotiate and reach a settlement. The mediation process is unique in that there are no "winners" or "losers;" instead, the mediator assists the parties in reaching a resolution that is acceptable to all.

 

“Along with managing another record year of case filings, NASD Dispute Resolution in 2002 set out to make its forum more accessible by opening new locations in Puerto Rico, Reno, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida. Additionally, in an effort to make arbitrator chair training more efficient, we announced that chair person training will be moved on-line sometime during 2003,” said Linda Fienberg, President of NASD Dispute Resolution. “We look forward to implementing additional refinements in 2003 that will help make the arbitration and mediation processes even more accessible and efficient.”

 

NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to bringing integrity to the markets and confidence to investors through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and member firms. For more information, please visit our Web Site at www.nasd.com.