FINRA recently reported its August 2009 arbitration statistics. As of August 31, 2009, 4,991 claims were filed, compared to only 3,018 as of August 31, 2008. This represents an increase of 65% year over year. FINRA also reported that 2,817 cases were closed through August and that the average turnaround time for cases that go to an arbitration hearing has declined by 10% (14.5 months from 16.1 months).

Despite this significant increase in cases filed, FINRA also reported that there has been only a slight (1%) increases in cases being mediated. In addition, 11% fewer cases were resolved through mediation (420 cases as of August 31, 2009 compared to 472 cases as of August 31, 2008).

As of August 31, 2009, there have been 9 more cases filed than during the entire 2008 calendar year. The most frequent claims/controversies involved continue to be breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation/fraud, negligence, and breach of contract. Mutual funds and common stock also remain the most common type of securities involved in arbitration claims.

Investors have also prevailed in a larger percentage of cases decided (by hearing or on the papers). As of August 31, 2009, 396 cases had been decided and investors prevailed in 178 (45%) of those cases. This represents the largest percentage of cases decided in favor of investors since 2004, when investors prevailed in 47% of such cases. Given that 2,817 cases have closed as of August 31, 2009, these statistics also demonstrate that a large number of arbitration claims are settled.

The Kueser Law Firm represents investors in securities arbitration. If you feel that your investments have been mismanaged, please contact our firm to discuss your rights.

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