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Dispute Resolution Statistics

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Virtual Arbitration Hearing Statistics Through October

Contested Motions for Virtual Hearings Granted Denied Open Total
Customer 105 (71%) 42 (29%) 28 175
Intra-Industry 27 (71%) 11 (29%) 8 46
Total Customer and Intra-Industry 132 (71%) 53 (29%) 36 221

Since the postponement of in-person hearings, and as of October 31, 93 arbitration cases have conducted one or more hearings via Zoom (38 customer cases and 55 industry cases).
There are 104 total joint motions for virtual hearings. (29 in customer cases and 75 in industry cases).

Arbitration Statistics Through October

Year New Case Filings Cases Closed Open Cases Turnaround Time (in months)
2020 Total: 3,403
Customer: 1,716 (50%)
Intra-Industry: 1,687 (50%)
2,920 5,304 Overall*: 14.8
Regular Hearing Decisions: 14.7
Special Proceeding Decisions: 6.8
Paper Decisions: 5.4
2019 Total: 3,204
Customer: 2,048 (64%)
Intra-Industry: 1,156 (36%)
3,361 4,875 Overall*: 14.1
Regular Hearing Decisions: 17.0
Special Proceeding Decisions: 6.7
Paper Decisions: 5.9
2018 Total: 3,630
Customer: 2,306 (64%)
Intra-Industry: 1,324 (36%)
3,129 4,959 Overall*: 14.2
Regular Hearing Decisions: 16.3
Special Proceeding Decisions: N/A
Paper Decisions: 6.5
2020 vs 2019 Total: +6%
Customer: -16%
Intra-Industry: +46%
-13% +9%  Overall*: +5%
Regular Hearing Decisions: -14%
Special Proceeding Decisions: +1%
Paper Decisions: -8%

* Includes cases closed for any reason.

Historical Statistics for Cases Filed and Closed 

Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2020 3,403 2,920
2019 3,757 4,011
2018 4,325 3,756
2017 3,456 3,735
2016 3,681 3,635
2015 3,435 3,489
Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
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
2009 7,137 4,571
Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
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
2003 8,945 7,278

Top 15 Controversy Types in Customer Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple controversy types.

Controversy   2020 Cases served 2019 2018 2017 2016
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through October 1,414 1,793 1,957 1,529 1,729
Year-End -- 2,053 2,290 1,899 2,002
Negligence Through October 1,307 1,595 1,679 1,349 1,605
Year-End -- 1,826 1,974 1,662 1,862
Failure to Supervise Through October 1,181 1,521 1,654 1,317 1,555
Year-End -- 1,731 1,935 1,621 1,802
Misrepresentation Through October 1,123 1,472 1,532 1,326 1,432
Year-End -- 1,688 1,775 1,663 1,670
Breach of Contract Through October 1,071 1,368 1,448 1,062 1,318
Year-End -- 1,563 1,711 1,318 1,495
Suitability Through October 1,024 1,387 1,551 1,279 1,371
Year-End -- 1,580 1,779 1,606 1,606
Omission of Facts Through October 989 1,290 1,324 1,198 1,198
Year-End -- 1,468 1,547 1,493 1,606
Fraud Through October 787 1,343 1,455 1,100 1,109
Year-End -- 1,499 1,707 1,389 1,301
Manipulation Through October 273 331 253 247 206
Year-End -- 384 302 299 236
Violation of Blue Sky Laws Through October 253 603 686 418 289
Year-End -- 657 810 547 344
Unauthorized Trading Through October 153 165 202 233 315
Year-End -- 197 245 263 362
Elder Abuse* Through October 146 177 189 23 --
Year-End -- 207 216 61 --
Churning Through October 97 141 180 196 219
Year-End -- 167 205 219 254
Errors-charges Through October 76 82 69 55 49
Year-End -- 98 81 66 56
Execution Error Through October 71 39 65 45 81
Year-End -- 51 75 53 85

* These categories were not tracked for the years in which no data appears.

Top 15 Security Types in Customer Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple security types.

Security   2020 Cases served 2019 2018 2017 2016
Common Stock Through October 324 372 498 506 559
Year-End -- 436 579 604 646
Real Estate Investment Trust Through October 316 187 177 153 151
Year-End -- 236 205 177 184
Private Equities Through October 200 114 89 95 92
Year-End -- 149 111 111 114
Mutual Funds Through October 152 490 622 345 396
Year-End -- 526 731 447 352
Options Through October 147 181 135 107 92
Year-End -- 204 150 127 124
Municipal Bonds Through October 135 665 828 404 388
Year-End -- 702 971 565 433
Limited Partnerships Through October 132 96 121 137 161
Year-End -- 128 144 183 199
Business Development Company Through October 132 19 17 12 --
Year-End -- 26 20 14 --
Municipal Bond Funds Through October 114 686 813 404 435
Year-End -- 717 959 558 480
Annuities Through October 82 84 87 95 97
Year-End -- 97 101 115 127
Variable Annuities Through October 80 99 94 107 96
Year-End -- 109 105 129 115
Exchange-Traded Funds Through October 76 122 149 122 117
Year-End -- 138 167 131 133
Corporate Bonds Through October 69 67 115 98 136
Year-End -- 74 135 119 154
401(k) Through October 63 49 82 60 14
Year-End -- 58 94 69 27
Government Securities Through October 52 414 435 151 84
Year-End -- 431 519 229 96

* These categories were not tracked for the years in which no data appears.

Top 15 Controversy Types in Intra-Industry Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple controversy types.

CONTROVERSY   2020 Cases Served 2019 2018 2017 2016
Breach of Contract Through October 268 284 329 331 324
Year-End -- 345 413 403 389
Promissory Notes Through October 206 198 228 248 341
Year-End -- 240 261 296 401
Libel, Slander, or Defamation Through October 144 114 141 93 110
Year-End -- 135 166 117 124
Libel or Slander on Form U-5 Through October 125 104 112 112 101
Year-End -- 119 135 136 124
Compensation Through October 118 119 137 132 133
Year-End -- 135 168 161 163
Wrongful Termination Through October 88 87 103 98 107
Year-End -- 102 122 116 127
Suitability Through October 81 15 57 44 14
Year-End -- 17 63 59 17
Commissions Through October 61 68 70 83 52
Year-End -- 82 95 103 60
Misrepresentation Through October 54 26 50 36 17
Year-End -- 29 68 54 21
Discrimination or Harassment* Through October 36 42 34 28 46
Year-End -- 46 38 37 58
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through October 29 25 32 42 14
Year-End -- 30 39 52 18
Raiding Disputes Through October 23 20 30 26 30
Year-End -- 21 37 33 42
Negligence Through October 16 15 26 21 12
Year-End -- 17 32 25 17
Partnerships Through October 14 12 7 5 7
Year-End -- 15 13 7 11
Fraud Through October 14 8 19 21 8
Year-End -- 11 24 26 11

* 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 2020 (% of Cases) 2019 2018 2017 2016
After Regular Hearing 280 (10%) 527 (13%) 517 (14%) 512 (14%) 593 (16%)
After Special Proceeding Hearing 10 (0%) 12 (0%) N/A N/A N/A
After Review of Documents (Paper Cases) 82 (3%) 96 (2%) 130 (4%) 135 (4%) 157 (4%)
Total 372 (13%) 635 (16%) 647 (17%) 647 (18%) 750 (21%)
Cases Resolved by Other Means 2020 (% of Cases) 2019 2018 2017 2016
Direct Settlement by Parties 1,639 (57%) 2,269 (57%) 2,005 (54%) 1,964 (53%) 1,812 (50%)
Settled via Mediation 402 (14%) 513 (13%) 493 (13%) 493 (13%) 433 (12%)
Withdrawn 276 (10%) 343 (9%) 333 (9%) 348 (9%) 341 (9%)
All Others 216 (7%) 203 (5%) 233 (6%) 240 (7%) 275 (8%)
Total 2,533 (87%) 3,328 (84%) 3,064 (83%) 3,045 (82%) 2,861 (79%)

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
2020 159 9% 32% (51 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)
2015 455 20% 42% (190 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
2020 101 33 68 33%
2019 241 109 132 45%
2018 274 115 159 42%
2017 272 122 150 45%
2016 272 114 158 42%
2015 319 145 174 45%

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
2020 4 0 4 0%
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
2020 54 18 36 33%
2019 64 31 33 48%
2018 85 30 55 35%
2017 80 29 51 36%
2016 117 44 73 38%
2015 136 45 91 33%

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
2020 66 30% (20 cases) 20 25% (5 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)
2015 163 47% (77 cases) 84 45% (38 cases)

Arbitrators by Type and Location

Arbitrator Type Total
Public 3,764
Non-Public 4,261
Total 8,025

Number of Cases and Arbitrators* per Hearing Location Through October

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 232 798 736

Mediation Statistics Through October

Year Cases in Agreement Cases Closed (Percent Settled) Turnaround Time (in days)
2020 348 477 (84%) 113
2019 480 486 (86%) 95
2018 441 583 (78%) 117
2020 vs 2019 -28% -2%  +19% 

Pre-Arbitration Requests for Mediation Through October

Year to Date Number of Requests* Parties Agreed (%)
2020 161 37 (23%)
2019 111 36 (32%)
2018 98 20 (20%)

* 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.