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FINRA

 

For Release:
Contacts:
Monday, September 18, 2006
Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379
Sarah Bohn (202) 728-8988

 



NASD DR Mediation Prices Reduced During 'Settlement Month' in October

Washington, DC — NASD announced today that its annual Mediation Settlement Month will take place in October and will offer incentives and special programs designed to promote mediation and educate potential parties about the benefits of the program. During Settlement Month, parties mediating cases in any of NASD's 68 hearing locations will be able to do so at significantly reduced rates.

"As the one of the first securities mediation programs in the country, NASD has helped thousands of parties settle complex securities issues through a highly efficient process," said Linda Fienberg, President of NASD Dispute Resolution. "By reducing rates and hosting these educational events, we hope to encourage parties to try mediation for the first time and to reinforce its value and effectiveness to those who have benefited from it in the past."

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 Mediation Settlement Month, hundreds of mediators have agreed to reduce their normal fees, allowing NASD to present substantial savings to parties. NASD 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, NASD will reduce by one-half its normal mediation filing fees for all cases, and mediators' prices will be as follows:

  • Cases with an amount in controversy over $100,000 will cost only $500 per party for an eight-hour mediation - down from the normal range of about $600 to $2,200 per party;

  • Cases with an amount in controversy from $25,001 to $100,000 will cost only $200 per party for a four-hour mediation - down from the normal range of about $300 to $1,100 per party; and

  • Cases with an amount in controversy up to $25,000 will cost only $100 per party for a four-hour mediation.

Since the NASD Mediation program was established 11 years ago, NASD has processed nearly 14,000 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 recent surveys of parties mediating with NASD, 80 percent of those who responded agreed that mediation resulted in time savings and 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 www.nasd.com.

Mediation Settlement Day in New York on October 19

The sixth annual Mediation Settlement Day is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2006, with a kick-off event on Oct. 3, 2006 at the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street in New York, NY. The ABA's Past President Michael S. Greco, a trial lawyer and arbitrator and mediator, is serving as the honorary chair and the keynote speaker for the Mediation Settlement Day 2006 kick-off event.

Mediation Settlement Day is organized by a coalition of mediation providers with the objective of raising the awareness of the many benefits of mediation and of the wealth of available resources. On Mediation Settlement Day, organizations conduct special programs designed to promote mediation and to educate potential parties and attorneys about the mediation process. Last year the event attracted more than 100 sponsoring organizations, including the New York State Unified Court System, national alternative dispute resolution programs, bar associations, community-based programs, public service organizations and schools.

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, Puerto Rico, and in London.

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.