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Dispute Resolution Statistics

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Virtual Arbitration Hearing Statistics Through March

Contested Motions for Virtual Hearings Granted Denied Open Total
Customer 171 (63%) 99 (37%) 32 302
Intra-Industry 58 (74%) 20 (26%) 14 92
Total Customer and Intra-Industry 229 (66%) 119 (34%) 46 394

Since the postponement of in-person hearings, and as of March 31, 263 arbitration cases have conducted one or more hearings via Zoom (104 customer cases and 159 industry cases).

There are 255 total joint motions for virtual hearings. (89 in customer cases and 166 in industry cases).

Arbitration Statistics Through March

Year New Case Filings Cases Closed Open Cases Turnaround Time (in months)
2021 Total: 774
Customer: 523 (68%)
Intra-Industry: 251 (32%)
1,028 4,869 Overall*: 13.5
Regular Hearing Decisions: 17.0
Special Proceeding Decisions: 8.1
Paper Decisions: 6.3
2020 Total: 947
Customer: 493 (52%)
Intra-Industry: 454 (48%)
996 4,781 Overall*: 15.6
Regular Hearing Decisions: 16.2
Special Proceeding Decisions: 6.6
Paper Decisions: 5.1
2019 Total: 831
Customer: 491 (59%)
Intra-Industry: 340 (41%)
1,014 4,850 Overall*: 13.5
Regular Hearing Decisions: 16.9
Special Proceeding Decisions: N/A
Paper Decisions: 6.0
2021 vs 2020 Total: -18%
Customer: +6%
Intra-Industry: -45%
+3% +2%  Overall*: -13%
Regular Hearing Decisions: +5%
Special Proceeding Decisions: +23%
Paper Decisions: +24%

* Includes cases closed for any reason.

Historical Statistics for Cases Filed and Closed 

Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2021 774 1,028
2020 3,902 3,564
2019 3,757 4,011
2018 4,325 3,756
2017 3,456 3,735
2016 3,681 3,635
Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2015 3,435 3,489
2014 3,822 3,838
2013 3,714 4,498
2012 4,299 4,877
2011 4,729 6,099
2010 5,680 6,241
Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2009 7,137 4,571
2008 4,982 3,757
2007 3,238 5,345
2006 4,614 7,212
2005 6,074 9,043
2004 8,201 9,209

Top 15 Controversy Types in Customer Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple controversy types.

Controversy   2021 Cases served 2020 2019 2018 2017
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through March 415 417 424 581 405
Year-End -- 1,714 2,053 2,290 1,899
Negligence Through March 391 369 395 486 373
Year-End -- 1,592 1,826 1,974 1,662
Misrepresentation Through March 348 341 313 472 329
Year-End -- 1,384 1,688 1,775 1,663
Failure to Supervise Through March 324 347 363 461 350
Year-End -- 1,433 1,731 1,935 1,621
Omission of Facts Through March 308 301 287 409 283
Year-End -- 1,215 1,468 1,547 1,493
Breach of Contract Through March 297 305 316 393 289
Year-End -- 1,292 1,563 1,711 1,318
Suitability Through March 271 324 315 478 330
Year-End -- 1,220 1,580 1,779 1,606
Fraud Through March 200 263 285 424 285
Year-End -- 918 1,499 1,707 1,389
Violation of Blue Sky Laws Through March 109 76 126 200 99
Year-End -- 338 657 810 547
Manipulation Through March 85 79 80 48 56
Year-End -- 316 384 302 299
Unauthorized Trading Through March 53 45 53 60 73
Year-End -- 190 197 245 263
Errors-charges Through March 50 18 15 22 12
Year-End -- 102 98 81 66
Elder Abuse Through March 44 48 47 57 0
Year-End -- 172 207 216 61
Margin Calls Through March 34 8 27 13 13
Year-End -- 68 88 85 62
Execution Error Through March 31 16 13 14 8
Year-End -- 91 51 75 53

Top 15 Security Types in Customer Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple security types.

Security   2021 Cases served 2020 2019 2018 2017
Common Stock Through March 136 82 126 181 132
Year-End -- 385 436 579 604
Real Estate Investment Trust Through March 125 64 50 36 48
Year-End -- 421 236 205 177
Business Development Company Through March 70 9 8 3 2
Year-End -- 218 26 20 14
Options Through March 62 38 55 50 28
Year-End -- 180 204 150 127
Mutual Funds Through March 53 41 118 169 76
Year-End -- 177 526 731 447
Private Equities Through March 44 66 34 29 28
Year-End -- 213 149 111 111
Limited Partnerships Through March 41 40 30 35 41
Year-End -- 146 128 144 183
Variable Annuities Through March 24 25 22 21 38
Year-End -- 95 109 105 129
Exchange-Traded Funds Through March 22 21 28 45 32
Year-End -- 95 138 167 131
Annuities Through March 21 21 25 25 30
Year-End -- 93 97 101 115
Corporate Bonds Through March 21 9 21 40 27
Year-End -- 79 74 135 119
Municipal Bond Funds Through March 19 50 134 195 62
Year-End -- 136 717 959 558
Municipal Bonds Through March 17 61 136 211 70
Year-End -- 148 702 971 565
Structured Products Through March 10 11 11 12 11
Year-End -- 35 60 78 45
401(k) Through March 7 22 18 26 16
Year-End -- 73 58 94 69

Top 15 Controversy Types in Intra-Industry Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple controversy types.

CONTROVERSY   2021 Cases Served 2020 2019 2018 2017
Breach of Contract Through March 79 88 87 81 114
Year-End -- 309 345 413 403
Promissory Notes Through March 37 91 52 72 78
Year-End -- 229 240 261 296
Libel or Slander on Form U-5 Through March 25 44 33 36 34
Year-End -- 148 119 135 136
Compensation Through March 24 42 38 34 44
Year-End -- 135 135 168 161
Wrongful Termination Through March 22 26 27 25 34
Year-End -- 101 102 122 116
Libel, Slander, or Defamation Through March 14 35 42 45 30
Year-End -- 152 135 166 117
Commissions Through March 14 21 19 19 32
Year-End -- 72 82 95 103
Discrimination or Harassment** Through March 10 8 16 9 11
Year-End -- 38 46 38 37
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through March 6 8 11 18 9
Year-End -- 31 30 39 52
Misrepresentation Through March 3 15 18 34 3
Year-End -- 57 29 68 54
Suitability Through March 3 28 12 43 0
Year-End -- 82 17 63 59
Omission of Facts Through March 3 7 10 5 3
Year-End -- 11 14 18 16
Manipulation Through March 2 3 1 0 2
Year-End -- 4 5 5 2
Fraud Through March 2 4 5 9 3
Year-End -- 16 11 24 26
Negligence Through March 2 3 12 14 5
Year-End -- 17 17 32 25

* This category combines the following discrimination controversy types: disability, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. This number does not represent the number of cases served, as one case may have multiple discrimination claims.

How Arbitration Cases Close

Cases Decided by Arbitrators 2021 (% of Cases) 2020 2019 2018 2017
After Regular Hearing 102 (10%) 335 (9%) 527 (13 %) 517 (14%) 512 (14%)
After Special Proceeding Hearing 13 (1%) 13 (0%) 12 (0%) n/a n/a
After Review of Documents (Paper Cases) 26 (3%) 101 (3%) 96 (2%) 130 (4%) 135 (4%)
Total 141 (14%) 449 (13%) 635 (16%) 647 (17%) 647 (18%)
Cases Resolved by Other Means 2021 (% of Cases) 2020 2019 2018 2017
Direct Settlement by Parties 647 (64%) 2,060 (58%) 2,269 (57%) 2,005 (54%) 1,964 (53%)
Settled via Mediation 94 (9%) 477 (13%) 513 (13%) 493 (13%) 493 (13%)
Withdrawn 88 (9%) 329 (9%) 343 (9%) 333 (9%) 348 (9%)
All Others 48 (5%) 243 (7%) 203 (5%) 233 (6%) 240 (7%)
Total 877 (86%) 3,109 (87%) 3,328 (84 %) 3,064 (83%) 3,045 (82%)

Results of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases

Year Decided All Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Hearings, Special Procedures & Paper) Percentage Decided of All Customer Claimant Cases Closed Percentage (and Number) of Cases where Customer Awarded Damages
2021 63 11% 30% (19 cases)
2020 193 9% 32% (62 cases)
2019 313 13% 45% (141 cases)
2018 359 15% 40% (145 cases)
2017 352 14% 43% (151 cases)
2016 389 16% 41% (158 cases)

Result of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases (Regular Hearing Only)*

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Hearing Only) Hearing Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Hearing Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award Hearing Cases
2021 42 16 26 38%
2020 120 41 79 34%
2019 241 109 132 45%
2018 274 115 159 42%
2017 272 122 150 45%
2016 272 114 158 42%

*The data in this chart includes cases dismissed prior to the hearing on the merits, and are counted as cases in which the customer claimant was not awarded damages.

Awards on the Merits of the Case with One or More Zoom Evidentiary Hearings*

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award
2021 31 14 17 45%
2020 30 12 18 40%

*The data in this chart excludes cases dismissed prior to the hearing on the merits.

Awards on the Merits of the Case with In-Person Evidentiary Hearings*

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award
2021 1 1 0 100%
2020 34 17 17 50%

*The data in this chart excludes cases dismissed prior to the hearing on the merits.

Result of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases (Special Proceeding Hearing Only)

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Special Proceeding Only) Special Proceeding Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Special Proceeding Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award Special Proceeding Cases
2021 6 1 5 17%
2020 5 1 4 20%
2019 8 1 7 13%

Result of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases (Paper Only)

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Paper Only) Paper Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award Paper Cases
2021 15 2 13 13%
2020 68 20 48 29%
2019 64 31 33 48%
2018 85 30 55 35%
2017 80 29 51 36%
2016 117 44 73 38%

Results of All-Public Panels and Majority Public Panels in Customer Cases

Year Decided Cases Decided by All-Public Panels Percentage (and Number) of Cases Decided by 3 Public Arbitrators where Customer Awarded Damages Cases Decided by Majority-Public Panels Percentage (and Number) of Cases Decided by 2 Public Arbitrators and 1 Non-Public Arbitrator where Customer Awarded Damages
2021 26 38% (10 cases) 10 30% (3 cases)
2020 76 33% (25 cases) 26 23% (6 cases)
2019 149 53% (79 cases) 47 28% (13 cases)
2018 158 42% (67 cases) 58 47% (27 cases)
2017 137 48% (66 cases) 71 37% (26 cases)
2016 145 43% (63 cases) 72 36% (26 cases)

Arbitrators by Type and Location

Arbitrator Type Total
Public 3,937
Non-Public 4,407
Total 8,344

Number of Cases and Arbitrators* per Hearing Location Through March

Click on each hearing location below to view the number of cases and a breakdown of available arbitrators by type. View in table format.

We expand arbitrator pools in select hearing locations as case demand requires.

* Arbitrators can serve in multiple hearing locations, thus, these figures cannot be totaled to produce the overall number of arbitrators on the roster.
** These figures include the arbitrators designated on the Local Public Chair list.
*** These figures include the arbitrators designated on the Non-Local Public Chair list.

Special Arbitrator Roster

Arbitrator Pool Name Public Chairpersons Public Arbitrators Non-Public Arbitrators
Puerto Rico Bond Fund 226 786 731

Mediation Statistics Through March

Year Cases in Agreement Cases Closed (Percent Settled) Turnaround Time (in days)
2021 105 120 (80%) 118
2020 148 172 (89%) 114
2019 148 148 (86%) 95
2021 vs 2020 -29% -30%  +4% 

Pre-Arbitration Requests for Mediation Through March

Year to Date Number of Requests* Parties Agreed (%)
2021 71 14 (20%)
2020 29 4 (14%)
2019 34 11 (32%)

* As of January 1, 2020, Number of Requests only includes cases subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction. Previously, these statistics included all requests to mediate, including those not subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction.