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In today’s commercial world, it is common for business agreements and contracts to contain an arbitration provision. These provisions generally require the parties to the agreement to use a neutral arbitrator to decide their disputes and waive each party’s right to file a lawsuit in a civil court. Not surprisingly, the scope and applicability of contractual arbitration provisions have been subject of much discussion in both the state and federal court systems. In Healthmart USA, LLC vs. Directory Assistants, Inc., Case No. M2010-00880-COA-R3-CV, the Tennessee Court of Appeals recently added heft to the viability of contractual arbitration provisions, even when poorly written.
Effective January 31, 2011, customers in FINRA arbitrations have a new choice when it comes to trying to resolve disputes with their securities broker. FINRA operates the largest dispute resolution forum in the securities industry to assist in the resolution of disputes between and among investors, securities firms and individual registered representatives. As long as the customer’s claim qualifies for a three arbitrator panel, the customer will decide whether a securities industry professional will be a member of the arbitration panel.