October 11, 2013

Arbitration

securities-fraud-lawyers-picture

In an ideal world securities arbitration would be quick, efficient, low cost, and fair. In return you would give up your right to a jury trial. Also in an ideal world an agreement to arbitrate would be voluntarily entered by people on the one side and the financial world on the other in a totally impartial forum.

None was the case.

Every brokerage house in its customer application form contained a binding arbitration that required that every legal dispute with a customer be arbitrated. The financial institutions establish its own forum, now called Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and made up its own rules. FINRA also set up the rules for picking the arbitrators which was institutionally biased in favor of the brokerages.

The only organization that has attempted to protect investors is Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA). PIABA consists of several hundred attorneys around the country who represent investors against brokerages. Mr. Berkowitz was an early member of that organization and has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of investors.

As a result of these efforts, while far from perfect, FINRA is now fairer. FINRA is sensitive to the concerns of securities attorneys and evolving into a true impartial arbitration forum.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mr. Berkowitz.

 

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