Business, for the most part, is conducted fairly, efficiently and in a manner that satisfies everyone involved. Occasionally, however, disputes or problems arise. For example, a customer may disagree with how someone handled a transaction, or an employee may have a grievance with his or her employer. When matters such as these cannot be resolved informally, there are effective alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that allow for a swift conclusion without the inconvenience and expense of going to court. One such method is arbitration, a non-judicial process for settling disputes between two or more parties.
Let’s take a closer look at arbitration. Arbitration helps determine if aggrieved parties are entitled to recover damages or other relief. In arbitration, an impartial person or panel hears all sides of the issues, studies the evidence and decides how the matter should be resolved. The arbitrators conduct hearings in the manner they think will be the most effective in permitting a full and fair presentation of the evidence and arguments of the parties. The arbitrator makes a decision based on the pleadings, evidence and testimony admitted at the hearing, and the arbitrator’s decision, called an “award,” is final and binding on all parties.
The success of the dispute resolution process largely depends on the quality of the arbitrators overseeing the dispute. FINRA operates the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the world and facilitates the efficient resolution of monetary, business and employment disputes between investors, securities firms and individual brokers. Arbitrators are the backbone of FINRA’s Dispute Resolution forum. To ensure a fair resolution of the disputes that are brought before the forum, FINRA recruits unbiased and well-qualified individuals to carry out this important work. FINRA believes that a panel of arbitrators diverse in culture, backgrounds and professions offers different perspectives and experiences to the process.
Arbitrators who serve in FINRA’s forum acquire a broad knowledge of the securities industry and gain experience in resolving disputes. In addition, arbitrators have an opportunity to:
- Earn honoraria for participating on cases
- Develop valuable skills that can be applied to their profession
- Expand their network inside and outside the securities industry
- Give back to their community by lending their professional knowledge and experience to the process.
By serving as an arbitrator, you will also have the opportunity to strengthen your skills in problem solving, negotiation, critical thinking and interpersonal and communication skills, which are critical to your business success.
How do professionals qualify for this unique opportunity? The good news is that applicants are not required to have prior arbitration or securities experience. Unless waived by FINRA, candidates are eligible to apply with five years of paid, full-time work experience and a minimum of two years of college-level credits. The application process and all training are free. For more information, please call (855) 209-1620 or visit www.finra.org/BecomeanArbitrator.