Tradestation - to elect to arbitrate disputes or not?

ki1ian

Junior member
10 1
In the process of opening a Futures account a Tradestation you're asked if you accept or decline the arbitration provision laid out in paragraph 43 of this document http://www.tradestation.com/site-wide-items/disclaimers/legal/customer-agreements/ts-agreement-futures

Could someone kindly explain the pros and cons in plain english?

I've done a fair bit of googling and I can't find any discussion on it. So... over to the collective at T2W :smart:

Thanks in advance

EDIT - The exact wording of the question is "I have read Paragraph 43 of the Futures Account Agreement and I make the following election: I [accept / decline] the arbitration provision."
 
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ki1ian

Junior member
10 1
Worked it out... in short, to accept the arbitration provision if there ever was a dispute, the claim would be taken to FINRA and/or SEC (the brokerage and market regulators in the US):

1/ In the event that a discrepancy or dispute arises, your first course of action should be to report the matter in writing to your broker's manager or the brokerage firm's compliance department.
2/ If you are not satisfied with the brokerage firm's response or you seek monetary damages or other restitution, you may file a claim against the broker, brokerage firm or both in arbitration.
3/ If all parties agree, you may pursue your claims in mediation.
4/ Even if you have pursued one or more of the actions above, you may also file a written complaint with the SEC, the FINRA Investor Complaint Center, or with your state securities regulator. You may file a tip with FINRA's Office of the Whistleblower or the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower, if you have evidence of illegal or unethical activity at a brokerage firm.
5/ You may want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you during the arbitration proceedings to provide direction and advice. Even if you do not choose to hire an attorney, brokerage firms are generally represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, some law schools provide legal representation through securities arbitration clinics.
SOURCE: Arbitration Process - FINRA

There's more info here:
Options for Investors - FINRA

In declining the provision, I would have to seek my own attourney in order to file a claim in the first place - which would obviously cost a lot more to do. I'm not one of the big boys so, I've accepted the arbitration provision.

On closer inspection, the Futures Account agreement document pretty much sumed it up in paragraph 41 (FYI the capitalised text isn't my doing):

"You agree that if you do not elect arbitration pursuant to paragraph 43 below, then ANY CONTROVERSY BETWEEN YOU AND TRADESTATION SECURITIES ARISING OUT OF THIS AGREEMENT, REGARDLESS OF THE MANNER OF RESOLUTION, SHALL BE ARBITRATED, LITIGATED (TRIED IN A COURT OF LAW), OR OTHERWISE RESOLVED BY A TRIBUNAL LOCATED IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA. IN ADDITION, YOU HEREBY WAIVE TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY SUCH ACTION OR PROCEEDING."

Hope this helps anyone else deciding what to do.
 
 
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