Securities arbitration is used to resolve the majority of customer securities fraud claims brought against brokers.
Under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) are given the authority to regulate disputes between SRO members and customers through arbitration. The two largest SROs on Wall Street, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the regulatory, enforcement and arbitration functions of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) merged to create the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in July, 2007. FINRA now provides the forum that handles the majority of broker customer arbitrations.
Securities – A Regulated Industry
You can file complaints with the SEC. Your reports may even result in investigations, disciplinary actions or criminal charges taken against a stock broker or brokerage firm. However, the focus of the SEC is to correct and regulate the industry, not to recover money for you if your account has been mishandled resulting in lost savings or retirement funds. Your recovery of funds will be determined through arbitration.
For this reason, hiring a lawyer to represent you in securities arbitration proceedings is a wise decision. Arbitration proceedings follow rules established by the SEC and most likely will be arbitrated in a forum under FINRA.
Scarlett & Gucciardo has handled numerous securities arbitration proceedings against many Wall Street brokerage firms including, but not limited to the following:
- A. G. Edwards and Sons, Inc.
- Credit Suisse Group
- Prudential Securities
- H. D. Vest Investment Securities, Inc.
- UBS Paine Webber, Inc.
- Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup)
- Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC
- Merrill Lynchand Co., Inc.
- Newbridge Securities Corp.
- Advest, Inc.
- Josephthal & Co., Inc.
- Washington Mutual Financial Services, Inc.
- Gunn Allen Financial, Inc.
- T.D. Ameritrade, Inc.
- E*Trade, Inc.
- Investacorp, Inc.
- Oppenheimer and Co., Inc.
- J. P. Turner and Co., Inc.
- First Allied Securities, Inc.
- Aura Financial Services, Inc.
- IFMG Securities, Inc.
- National Securities Corp.
- Sentra Securities Corp., Inc.
- FSC Securities Corp.
A panel of one to three arbitrators conduct an arbitration proceeding to evaluate evidence and hear both sides of the case. The panel or arbitrator will arrive at a decision which is binding for both parties. Unlike court proceedings which involve an extensive pre-trial process consisting of formal discovery and depositions along with the possibility of appeal after judgment, the arbitration process does not utilize all of these formal procedures, nor does it go to the extent of a formal trial or allow for appeal except under extremely limited grounds.