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Final Decision in FINRA Securities Arbitration

Monday, May, 16, 2011

One benefit of securities arbitration to resolve an investment dispute is the speed of the process.  A case that came to a final decision this week took slightly over a year to resolve, but much longer than that to come to arbitration in the first place.  The claim, first filed in March 2010, alleged breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of Sigma Financial Corporation and Robert Hardies.


Securities Arbitration: Case Originated in the 1990s


At issue was advice that Sigma and Hardies provided to the claimant from 1995 to 1998.  After deciding that the advice was ill founded, the claimant sought more than $300,000 in damages, not including fees and costs.  The respondents denied any misconduct and in January 2011 sought a motion to dismiss the claim.


The FINRA Arbitration Panel ended up dismissing the claim with prejudice, meaning that a similar arbitration cannot be re-filed regarding the same alleged offenses.  The dismissal was based on FINRA's determination that "the claim set forth in Claimant’s Statement of Claim is not eligible for submission to arbitration under the Code because more than six (6) years have elapsed from the occurrence or event giving rise under the claim."


Thus, the arbitration panel issued no ruling on the merit, or lack thereof, of the claim itself.