News Release

NASD Expands Reach of Dispute Resolution Forum To All 50 States

Washington, D.C. — NASD announced today that its Dispute Resolution division has established 10 new hearing locations for arbitration and mediation and now hosts hearing locations in all 50 states, giving investors greater access to arbitration and mediation services nationwide.

The new hearing locations are in: Montpelier, VT; Augusta, ME; Manchester, NH; Charleston, WV; Helena, MT; Cheyenne, WY; Boise, ID; Bismarck, ND; Rapid City, SD; and Jackson, MS.  In the last year, NASD added hearing locations in Wilmington, DE; Wichita, KS, Birmingham, AL; Columbia, SC; Des Moines, IA; Providence, RI; and Hartford, CT. Today, investors have access to NASD arbitration and mediation services in a total of 68 locations, including London and Puerto Rico. For a complete list, see the NASD Dispute Resolution map of regional offices and hearing locations.

"NASD is committed to ensuring that investors get a fair, expeditious, and affordable resolution of their disputes," said NASD Dispute Resolution President Linda Fienberg. "We continue to make significant improvements to our forum by making it more accessible to investors and by making sure we recruit quality mediators and arbitrators to serve at all locations, here and abroad. Now, investors with securities disputes will no longer have to travel out of state to have their cases heard."

In a related issue, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule change that will allow NASD Dispute Resolution to better serve American investors who reside outside of the United States. The new rule will allow parties to conduct their arbitrations abroad, if all parties agree to a foreign hearing location and to pay an additional honorarium to each arbitrator. Currently, NASD has one foreign hearing location in London, England but it intends to expand its international presence through its association with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), which maintains a worldwide roster of neutrals. The new rule will take effect no later than June 5, 2005. For more information, see Proposed Foreign Hearing Location Rule. SR-NASD-2004-042.

To initiate a mediation or arbitration online or to find out more about NASD Dispute Resolution forum, visit NASD's Web Site

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.