News Release

NASD Regulation Kicks Off October Settlement Month for the Midwestern and Western Regions, Offering 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 the Midwestern and Western Regions’ Settlement Month, a program to promote the use of mediation as an alternative to arbitration. Throughout the month of October, the benefits and advantages of mediation will be offered to parties at significant cost reductions. This past July, NASD Regulation’s Office of Dispute Resolution sponsored a successful Settlement Month for the Northeast Region, generating a 50 percent increase in new mediation cases during the one-month period.

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. The process of mediation is unique 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 now in the fourth year of what continues to be a growing and successful mediation program – since 1995, over 3,000 cases have come into the mediation forum. The lower prices offered to parties during Settlement Month encourage more parties 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. The Office of Dispute Resolution reports that parties choose mediation in 20 percent of cases administered through its dispute resolution program.

"Most parties that come into the mediation forum are seeking actual 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 with smaller cases. No matter what the value of actual damages alleged, all parties will have access to the highest quality mediators on our roster during Settlement Month," said NASD Regulation’s Kenneth Andrichik, Director of Mediation.

In the Midwestern Region, NASD Regulation is offering special Settlement Month rates at dispute resolution hearing locations in Albuquerque, NM; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Phoenix, AZ; and St. Louis, MO.

In the Western Region, NASD Regulation is offering special Settlement Month rates at dispute resolution hearing locations in Anchorage, AK.; Honolulu, HI.; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA.

Later in the month, a press release will go out to announce Mediation Settlement Month in the Southeast Region from October 18 to November 19, 1999.

Persons interested in the mediation program should contact Kenneth Andrichik, Director of Mediation, or Elizabeth McCoy, Assistant Director of Mediation, at 212-858-4400. Parties may also contact the Midwestern Region mediation staff at 1-888-MED-CHI-1 (888-633-2441) or the Western Region staff at 1-888-SETTL-SF (888-738-8573).

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.