Articles Tagged with investor arbitration

One of the most common questions I receive as a FINRA securities attorney is whether or not a client is likely to prevail at a FINRA arbitration hearing.  My first gut reaction, and the one I tell clients, is honestly I just don’t know.  Most clients are puzzled by this answer because after handling hundreds of arbitration claims one would think I would have a better sense and certainty as to the strength of the case.  However, the answer to whether the client would win at arbitration is not just a function of the strength of the case.

The better way to phrase the question is: What is the likely outcome of my securities case?  That question is more readily answerable.  I tell clients that it has been our experience that approximately 80% of all cases filed will be resolved through settlement or other means sometime prior to hearing.  Recent data released by FINRA supports that approximately 80% of cases never make it to hearing.  According to FINRA, of all arbitrations decided between 2009 and 2013 between 75% and 79% of those claims are resolved either through settlement, withdrawn, or means other than a hearing.

But what of the 20% of cases that do go to hearing?  What are the chances of success at the FINRA arbitration hearing?  The answer to that question is again usually unknowable at the time it’s first asked.  There are so many considerations that go into determining the likelihood of success, many of which are unknown at the outset.  Once of the biggest unknowns at the outset is who the arbitrators will be.

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