When investors have been mistreated by their stock broker, they often wonder about their options for recourse. Among other options, investors can file an arbitration case with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). If an investor decides to file a FINRA arbitration case, however, most arbitration cases can last up to 18 months and will usually conclude with an in-person arbitration hearing in front of one or more arbitrators.
However, FINRA has another option for investors: filing a “simplified arbitration” case. Simplified arbitration cases allow investors with damages of $50,000 or less the choice of having their case heard without a formal arbitration hearing. Because simplified cases can be decided based on the paper submissions sent to the arbitrator, investors do not have to sit through a multi-day hearing or be cross-examined by the other side’s attorney. Additionally, simplified arbitrations are usually decided in six to nine months, much quicker than formal arbitration cases. While simplified arbitrations may not provide a good forum for all types of cases, they can be a good choice for some investors because they are significantly less burdensome (both in time and costs) than typical arbitration cases.
Maddox Hargett & Caruso has filed a number of simplified arbitrations on behalf of aggrieved investors. If you have been wronged by your stock broker and are considering bring an arbitration case, please give us a call.