Filings for arbitration at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the self-regulation body of Wall Street, are up 43% in 2009 over the previous year. Nearly all brokerage agreement specify FINRA arbitration as the only way to resolve a dispute between a client and broker or an employee and broker. In years where the stock markets are down, arbitration filings tend to increase as investors seek redress for their losses. The average time from filing to award decreased from 13.0 months in 2008 to 11.5 months in 2009 — a 12% decrease. Investors received a monetary or non-monetary award in 45% of the cases in 2009, up from 37% in 2008.
FINRA also has an mediation program. Filings in their mediation program were also up (23%) and average turnaround time dropped 33% from 135 days in 2008 to 91 days in 2009.
I arbitrate cases for FINRA, among other bodies.