Maine FINRA Arbitration Hearings -- Few & Far Between

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Through the mid-2000s the hearing location for FINRA / NASD arbitrations involving Maine investors was Boston.   FINRA decided to add a hearing location in Augusta, Maine.  How well used has that hearing location been used?  Not very.  I took a look at FINRA awards searching the word "Augusta" -- here's what I found:

        1 customer dispute ($0.00)
        1 customer dispute ($1,000,000)
        1 industry dispute
        1 industry dispute
        1 stipulated award
        1 customer dispute ($0.00)

So, a total of 6 hearings, 3 customer disputes and a win-loss record of 1-2.  The one award in a customer case was $1 million.   I represented an investor with a similar dispute to the one that went to hearing and resulted in a $1 million award (against the same firm and advisor), but I filed my case in Maine Superior Court not in arbitration -- my case settled.

There have been other securities arbitrations involving Maine investors, but the parties have stipulated to move the hearing location to Portland or to Boston. 

FINRA might consider moving the default Maine hearing location to Portland.  The Augusta location does not get much use, Portland is Maine's business capital, most Maine lawyers with securities arbitration experience are clustered in Portland, there are very few FINRA arbitrators in Maine (requiring that the majority of panel members travel up from points south), and Portland is the easiest point of entry for witnesses and counsel traveling "from away."