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  • Arbitration is a way to resolve conflicts between parties or individuals, and may be considered middle ground between the more cooperative, informal nature of mediation and the more expensive, involved, and lengthy process of litigation.

    Usually, when you open a brokerage account, you sign an agreement to use arbitration to resolve possible conflicts with the firm and waive the right to sue for damages in court.

    Arbitration is binding, which means you can't appeal the decision or try for a different result by going to court. Most investment-related arbitration claims are handled by either NASD, the main self-regulatory body that supervises brokers, or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

    In arbitration, a trained impartial arbitrator or panel of arbitrators reviews the evidence, decides on the outcome, and sets any award. While arbitration is usually less expensive than litigation, arbitration and attorney fees make it a more expensive option than mediation.

  • Browse Related Terms: Arbitration, Dispute resolution, Form ADV, Mediation, Registered investment adviser (RIA)

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