NASD Kicks Off Mediation Settlement Month; Lower Mediation Prices for October
Michael Shokouhi 202-728-8304
Washington, DC — NASD announced that its annual Mediation Settlement Month event will take place this October, offering parties special incentives to try mediation as an alternative to arbitration. Parties that mediate cases in the NASD forum during October will be able to do so in any of NASD's mediation locations at significantly reduced rates.
This years Settlement Month marks NASD's seventh annual settlement event, and the eighth anniversary of NASD's growing mediation program.
"NASD is excited to again designate October as Mediation Settlement Month to help parties resolve disputes through this highly efficient process at reduced fees," said Linda Fienberg, President of NASD Dispute Resolution. "Mediation is increasingly being accepted as a less expensive and effective alternative to the arbitration process."
Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding dispute resolution process in which a trained, impartial individual helps participants negotiate and reach a settlement. The mediation process is unique in that there are no "winners" or "losers;" instead, the mediator assists the parties in reaching a resolution that is acceptable to all.
Hundreds of mediators have agreed to reduce their normal fees during Settlement Month, allowing NASD to present substantial savings to the parties. In October, mediation prices will be as follows:
- NASD will reduce by one-half its normal mediation filing fees for all cases;
- Cases with an amount in controversy over $100,000 will cost only $500 per party for an 8-hour mediation - down from the normal range of about $800 to $2,000 per party;
- Cases with an amount in controversy from $25,001 to $100,000 will cost only $200 per party for a 4-hour mediation - down from the normal range of about $300 to $600 per party; and
- Cases with an amount in controversy up to $25,000 will cost only $100 per party for a 4-hour mediation. Some mediators reduce their small claim rates to $50 throughout the year but the list grows for Settlement Month. The reduction in mediation filing fees creates an opportunity for further savings.
In the past eight years, parties have used the mediation process in over 8,500 cases, with approximately 80 percent resulting in a settlement between the parties. A recent survey reported that 92 percent of the individuals resolving disputes through mediation stated that they would use the NASD mediation process in the future.
Interested parties can view the interactive map of available mediation locations.
Mediation Settlement Day in New York October 30, 2003
For the third successive year, NASD is sponsoring Mediation Settlement Day in New York, to be held on Thursday, October 30, 2003. The event is organized by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the leading bar organization in New York City, and co-sponsored by a coalition of public service organizations, bar organizations, law schools, and courts. On Mediation Settlement Day, dozens of New York-area organizations conduct special programs designed to promote mediation and to educate potential parties and attorneys about the mediation process.
The Honorable Janet Reno, former United States Attorney General, has agreed to serve as Honorary Chair of Mediation Settlement Day 2003. To kick off the proceedings leading to Mediation Settlement Day, Ms. Reno will deliver a keynote address on "The Promise of Mediation" at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday October 21, 2003 at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 42 West 44 Street. Admission to this event is free and open to the public.
Mediation Settlement Day 2003 is endorsed by national organizations such as the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, the Better Business Bureau, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to proclaim October 30, 2003 as Mediation Settlement Day in New York City. Building upon the success of the two previous years, more programs throughout New York City and around New York State have joined the effort to raise the profile of mediation and focus judges, attorneys, and business people on working collaboratively to resolve disputes.
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. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.nasd.com.