House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee Holds Hearing on “Forced Arbitration.” Proposed Fair Act is Gaining Strength
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The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law held a May 16 hearing titled “Justice Denied: Forced Arbitration and the Erosion of our Legal System.” The Senate Judiciary Committee held a similar hearing in April.

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FINRA Board Meets — Tables Arbitration-Related Rule Proposals
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FINRA’s Board of Governors met on May 6-7 to consider an array of financial, regulatory and enforcement reports and issues. Prior to this regular meeting of the Board,

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FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice Seeking Comments on Rule Changes To Protect Against At-Risk Firms. Unpaid Arbitration Awards Definitely a Focus!
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FINRA has issued a Regulatory Notice seeking comments on Rule changes aimed at better protecting investors from firms with significant regulatory histories. Arbitration is prominently mentioned throughout.

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CPR and CEDR Release Joint Report on Insights into ADR
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The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (“CPR”) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (“CEDR”) on April 4 issued a joint Report: “Insights into Alternative Dispute Resolution.”

As described in an accompanying Press Release and Summary,

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FINRA Stats, 3/19: March Case Filings Continue Weak, Leading to a Quarterly YOY Decline of 28%
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New case submissions by customers are down 29% from the first quarter’s tally for 2018 and industry cases have declined 27%. Overall, 830 new cases were filed in the first quarter;

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An Ideologically Divided SCOTUS Holds 5-4 in Lamps Plus that Class Arbitration Takes Place Only Where the Parties Expressly Provide for It
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In the final arbitration-centric decision of the Term, the Supreme Court on April 24 held 5-4 in Varela v. Lamps Plus, Inc.,

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