The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that the number of first quarter filings has increased from last year. According to FINRA, 1,011 cases were filed in this year’s first quarter compared to last year’s first quarter which was only 919 cases. Some believe the heavier case load to be attributed to the Puerto Rico municipal bond collapse. To help prepare for the increase, FINRA has increased its pool of arbitrators. As of right now there are about 6,375 arbitrators, which is broken down between public (3,547) and non-public (2,828). Most cases are heard by a three person all-public panel.
So far this year the all-public panels have been more likely to award damages to the claimants then a panel that includes an industry representative. In the first quarter of 2014, out of 109 cases decided by an all- public panel, 55 resulted in damages being awarded.
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