FINRA News Roudup: FINRA Unveils Telephone Mediation Pilot and Proposes A More Stringent Definition of Public Arbitrator

FINRA Unveils Telephone Mediation Pilot
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says it now has a pilot program that allows parties with simplified cases to choose reduced-fee or pro bono phone mediation. Volunteers with arbitration claims involving $50,000 or under are welcome to participate. In cases involving damage claims of $25,000 or under, mediators would work on a pro bono basis. For cases between $25,001 and $50,000, there would be a reduced fee mediation rate of $50/hour. No administrative fees will be charged.

Benefits to this phone mediation pilot include getting rid of in-person mediation preparation and travel costs, as well as more flexibility and convenience. The pilot was launched on January 15.

FINRA Proposes A More Stringent Definition of Public Arbitrator
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA is proposing that the definition of “public” arbitrator not include persons with associations to a hedge fund or mutual fund. The SRO is also proposing that there be a “cooling off period” of two years before individuals that have terminated certain affiliations can take on this arbitrator role.

FINRA wants to make the rule changes because of worries by investor representatives that they don’t consider certain arbitrators that have a specific experience or background and are listed on the public roster to actually be public. The SRO also thinks that the cooling off period will allow certain persons that have had certain affiliations to regain an impression of neutrality in the eyes of constituents.

FINRA Securities Cases

If you are an investor that has sustained losses due to securities fraud, you may be able to recover your investment by going through FINRA arbitration. It is a good do have good securities representation with a FINRA securities law firm that is experienced in handling such cases. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP today.

FINRA Launches Small Claims Telephonic Mediation Pilot Program, FINRA, January 16, 2013
Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amendments to the Customer and Industry Codes of Arbitration Procedure to Revise the Public Arbitrator Definition, SEC, January 11, 2013 (PDF)

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