| Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379
Sarah Bohn (202) 728-8988
NASD DR Reduces Mediation Prices in October during 'Settlement Month' As NASD's Mediation Program Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary
Washington, DC — NASD announced that its annual Mediation Settlement Month event will take place this October, offering incentives and special programs designed to promote mediation and to educate potential parties about the benefits of the program. During Settlement Month, parties that mediate cases in any of NASD's hearing locations will be able to do so at significantly reduced rates.
This year's Settlement Month marks NASD's seventh annual settlement event, and the 10th anniversary of NASD's mediation program.
"As the one of the oldest and largest securities mediation programs in the country, NASD has helped thousands of parties effectively settle complex securities issues through a highly efficient process," said Linda Fienberg, President of NASD Dispute Resolution. "We are proud to celebrate our successes over the past 10 years and we are pleased to encourage more people to consider mediation as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to arbitration."
Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding dispute resolution process in which a trained, impartial individual helps parties negotiate and reach a settlement acceptable to all parties to the dispute. Once the parties reach an agreement through mediation, they sign a mutually agreeable settlement agreement. In contrast, when a dispute is submitted to arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator or arbitration panel is binding on all parties regardless of whether the parties agree with the decision.
During Settlement Month, hundreds of mediators have agreed to reduce their normal fees, allowing NASD to present substantial savings to parties. NASD DR anticipates another highly successful Mediation Settlement Month, in which the number of cases where parties agree to mediate typically increases by 40 percent or more over other months. In October, mediation prices will be as follows:
In the past 10 years, NASD Mediation staff has processed over 12,500 cases involving a wide variety of securities disputes, with approximately 81 percent resulting in a settlement between the parties. Participant evaluations consistently report satisfaction with the process. In separate surveys of parties mediating with NASD, 80 percent of those who responded agreed that mediation resulted in time savings and 77 percent agreed that mediation resulted in cost savings.
Interested parties can view an interactive map of available mediation locations on the NASD's Web Site, as well as more information about NASD mediation, and the Mediation Settlement events at http://www.nasd.com.
Mediation Settlement Day in New York on October 20
For the fifth consecutive year, NASD is co-sponsoring Mediation Settlement Day in New York City on Thursday, October 20. Organized by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, NASD DR, and a working group of select mediation providers, the event is co-sponsored by a coalition of more than 90 alternative dispute resolution programs, bar associations, community-based programs, schools, and public and non-profit organizations. On Mediation Settlement Day, dozens of New York-area organizations, along with a few throughout the country, conduct special programs designed to promote mediation and to educate potential parties and attorneys about the mediation process.
Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney and one of the nation's leading experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, is serving as the Honorary Chair and the Keynote Speaker for the Mediation Settlement Day 2005 kick-off event held in New York City on October 6th.
NASD Dispute Resolution is the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the world. NASD facilitates the efficient resolution of monetary, business, and employment disputes between investors, securities firms, and employees of securities firms by offering both arbitration and mediation services through a network of hearing locations across the United States.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity 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.