Most brokerage firms require its customers to sign an agreement when they open an account agreeing to take their disputes to arbitration. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, “FINRA” (formerly the NASD), runs the arbitration tribunal, and it schedules hearings in all major cities every month. Although some customers never signed such agreements, they are also able to file a securities arbitration rather than taking their claim to court if it is against a FINRA-licensed advisor.
There are no depositions in arbitration. Most arbitrations are 12-18 months. There is a separate, quicker process with one arbitrator available where the losses are less than $100,000. Larger cases are heard by a panel of three people. The process is best navigated with the assistance of an experienced securities arbitration attorney with a record of winning cases. For a free initial consultation, contact Diane Nygaard at (913) 485-5014 or go to the Contact page of this website and send an e-mail describing your problem.