Public Forum to be Held as Record Numbers of Investors Turn to Arbitration to Resolve Disputes
WASHINGTON (June 21, 2004) —The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc., today announced plans to host a public forum to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the arbitration process from a variety of perspectives. The “NASAA Listens” Forum is scheduled for July 20 from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. in the First Amendment Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, in Washington D.C.
“Since our nation’s investors are compelled to seek arbitration to resolve disputes with Wall Street, we must make certain that they are getting a fair shake,” said NASAA President and Connecticut Securities Director Ralph A. Lambiase. “This Forum will give arbitration experts and regulators an opportunity to thoroughly examine a range of interest areas in the current arbitration process and to recommend any changes needed to strengthen the process to ensure that it remains both fair and transparent.”
Lambiase noted that the ongoing scandals in the mutual fund and variable annuities industries are the latest in a series of Wall Street wrongdoings that have prompted record numbers of investors throughout the United States to seek relief through arbitration. According to the NASD, investor disputes have been on the rise in recent years. Last year, a record 8,945 cases were filed to settle investor disputes through arbitration — nearly double the number of cases filed a decade ago.
The Forum, which includes a luncheon, will feature a panel of experts from the legal, regulatory, and academic communities who will discuss a number of topics including legal and procedural issues in arbitration cases, the composition of arbitration panels, arbitration awards and remedies, and the view of the current process from the perspectives of both investors and arbitrators.
The “NASAA Listens” Forum is free and open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve a seat, please contact Lonnie Martin, at 202-737-0900, by July16. NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico.
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Bob Webster, Director of Communications