Once the decision is made to pursue arbitration, a claimant must prepare a Statement of Claim. This document must be filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Statement of Claim sets forth the types of claims being made and may include the amount of damages requested. It also includes an explanation of the facts that gave rise to the claim and the basis for the damages.
A party may make two types of claims: legal claims and industry-specific claims. Legal claims arise from the violation of legal rights (e.g., fraud, negligence, misrepresentation). Industry-specific claims can be made for the violation of industry rules (e.g., suitability, excessive trading, commingling).
In addition to filing a Statement of Claim, a party must also file a Submission Agreement and pay FINRA filing fees. Claims may be filed either online or by mail. Any deficiencies in a claimant’s filings must be remedied and can delay the arbitration process. Once the filing requirements are met, FINRA will serve the Statement of Claim on the respondent party(ies).