By Christopher G. Lazarini The recognized grounds for vacating an arbitration Award are limited, and the losing party may not rely on ineffective assistance from counsel, incompetent counsel, or attorney malpractice in support of his efforts to overturn an adverse Award. Kelly vs. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, No. 3:15-cv-1110 (M.D. Tenn., 2/25/16). The Attorney […]

By George H. Friedman* [The author thanks the Securities Arbitration Commentator for letting him borrow liberally from its coverage of the cases below in its weekly Securities Arbitration Alert] Mediation in my eyes has sometimes been treated like the Rodney Dangerfield of the alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) field, not getting the full measure of respect […]

A new twist we have been seeing in the Stipulated Awards of late is a statement in the Award that the merits dispute was settled between the parties with the Claimant customer agreeing to a dismissal with prejudice of all claims against the Respondents. What’s wrong with that? Well, nothing, if, indeed, as happens from […]

By David C. Franceski, Jr. An arbitration panel engages in misconduct, justifying vacatur of an Award in the claimant’s favor, where it limits or precludes respondent’s first-hand witness testimony on issues central to the case, based only on a proffer demanded of respondent’s counsel over objection and before claimant’s case in-chief is concluded. ICAP Corporates, […]

While at this stage, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland remains a long shot for Senate confirmation, we decided to see if we could find any arbitration-related opinions that he may have authored since joining the DC Circuit. So far, we’ve found two cases – one involving a securities arbitration – and based on this very […]

By William D. Nelson The findings of a FINRA panel that a party violated federal or state securities laws and the corresponding damages awarded by the Panel are not dischargeable in bankruptcy where the issues of the securities violations, and resulting damages, were actually litigated and necessarily adjudicated in the FINRA proceeding. Behrends, In Re: […]

The work of the Dispute Resolution Task Force (DRTF) was completed in December 2015 with the publication of a detailed final Report and the reference of some 51 recommendations for action to FINRA’s National Arbitration & Mediation Committee (NAMC); the NAMC had its first meeting on the DRTF Report and we’ve learned of at least […]

By David C. Franceski, Jr. With a proper foundation, a party to an arbitration agreement does not need to retain and produce the complete original of the agreement, and may establish its existence and terms through a combination of the original signature page and blank form of agreement to which the signature page corresponds. Patterson […]

Wow, look at these January statistics from FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution: new case filings are up 8%; cases entering agreement in mediation are up 77%; Majority-Public Panels awarded “wins” to customers in 75% of the cases vs. only 44% for Public Panels! Call the Journal! But, wait, hold the phone…. It’s January and the […]

By Christopher G. Lazarini *The decision to grant or deny a motion for reconsideration rests with the sound discretion of the trial court. **The major grounds for reconsideration are an intervening change in controlling authority, availability of new evidence, and the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice. ***Motions to disqualify counsel […]