Disputes between parties in securities matters are virtually always resolved through a process called securities arbitration, as opposed to litigation in court. Simply put, arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution process that is generally a less expensive and faster way to resolve disputes than through litigation. From a technical standpoint, nearly all account opening documents that are executed by investors with brokerage firms specifically dictate that any differences between the parties must be resolved through arbitration and not litigation. The arbitration process for securities claims is governed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is a highly specialized area of the law and the attorneys who represent the Wall Street firms in these cases are highly skilled and have handled hundreds of them before. Once the claim is filed and the panel of three arbitrators is selected, there is an extensive discovery period where the investor and the brokerage firm exchanges documents and other information to help the sides decide the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. At some point after the information exchange is completed, the attorneys will make attempts to settle the case through independent negotiation efforts or with the assistance of a mediator. The last stage in a securities arbitration case is the evidentiary hearing which would be held in Houston or Dallas, whichever is nearest to where the investor lives. After the conclusion of the presentation each parties’ case, the panel of arbitrators retire into executive session to weigh the oral and documentary evidence in order to reach a conclusion in the form of an award. The award does not have to be unanimous and can be decided by two panel members out of three. This award is final and cannot be appealed, except in rare and extraordinary circumstances.
This is why it is very important for you to have our securities law firm on your side. Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD, LLP, has a team of attorneys, consultants and staff with more than 100 years of combined experience in the securities industry and in securities law. Since 1990, we have represented thousands of investors nationwide to recover losses. We have represented clients in Federal and State courts and in arbitration through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the New York Stock Exchange Inc. (NYSE), the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and in private arbitration actions. Collectively, we have represented over 1,000 investors in the last 20 years in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation.
Obviously, it is impossible to predict the outcome of any case, however, statistics indicate that the probability of a successful recovery in securities arbitration cases increases when investors are represented by counsel and particularly those represented by attorneys who specialize in securities arbitration matters. Many of the attorneys and paralegals at Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD, LLP have experience working at major Wall Street firms, in addition to having in depth knowledge of the FINRA Rules, securities laws and the arbitration process. Because of this, over ninety percent (90%) of our clients have been successful in recovering all or some portion of their losses and a majority of those have been resolved through mediation prior to going through a full blown evidentiary hearing.
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