Federal Court Suits
Voltaire, the famous French literary master once quipped that in his entire lifetime the two worst things that ever happened to him were when he lost a lawsuit and when he won a lawsuit. There is no more exquisite misery or painful and expensive travail than seeking to resolve a conflict in a Federal court. I've been practicing law thirty-four years on the day I penned this paragraph...and I still enter a hospital with less trepidation than a U.S. District Court. Having said that; I can happily report that 99% of victims of stockbroker fraud can drive by the federal court on their way to arbitration. The reason for that is that the securities industry set up a procedure whereby any complaint about a registered individual must be resolved in arbitration. This is a good thing. Federal court is a bad thing. In arbitration a panel of three experienced and seasoned arbitrators sit and hear from both sides. It is a no-nonsense, practical exploration of the facts. You are not likely to get run over by smart lawyers or derailed by your own case. The arbitrators want to get to the core and are not sidetracked by courtroom procedures, rules of evidence, and all the other safeguards and qualifiers which limit and filter evidence heard by judges and juries. It is a very practical solution, and it works. Arbitration can be conducted very quickly and the results are usually heard in a matter of days. Many individuals represent themselves in front of FINRA arbitration panels and are very satisfied. I encourage you to arbitrate yourself if you feel comfortable in a business negotiation situation. You do not need law degree to be an effective arbitrator. You need to be able to reason, organize, and communicate. Skills often lost or more often: never acquired by lawyers. The best presenters in arbitration are those who are prepared. Being prepared is the most important quality found in successful arbitration proceedings. The arbitrators respect, ask for it, and respond positively to it. Dodges, obfuscation, intimidation, all of the lawyerly arts are left outside the door, or kicked out the door, by arbitrators. Federal courts is however a alternative for some actions which involve either the violation of federal statutes, federal wire fraud, federal criminal acts, and civil lawsuits brought by the SEC or any other empowered nongovernmental organization: FINRA is one of those NGO's and is often the moving party in federal court.