Any Tampa lawyer will tell you securities arbitration is an alternative dispute resolutions process to the traditional in-court law suit. Instead of stepping before a judge and jury, participants have the opportunity to have disputes mediated by an impartial mediator or arbitrator, who has knowledge and experience on the areas in dispute.
In most cases, Tampa lawyers who write the initial brokerage contracts have included a mandatory arbitration clause within your contracts. Because of these mandatory arbitration clauses, many investors have been highly aggravated to learn that arbitration is truly mandatory and, by agreeing to such arbitration contractually, they have forfeited their rights to file a traditional law suit.
On Sept. 12th, at the North American Securities Administrators Association’s 2011 Annual Conference, SEC Commissioner Elisse B. Walter had this to day about mandatory arbitration.
Regardless of changes in the relationship between investors and the professionals to whom they turn for advice, disagreements will arise that need to be resolved quickly and fairly. Following the dictates of Dodd-Frank,the SEC intends to thoroughly review the mandatory arbitration provisions that are written into most brokerage contracts.(emphasis added)
I believe that in recent years FINRA has provided a relatively cost-effective way to fairly resolve disputes. Nonetheless, I also completely understand the frustration of investors who are denied their opportunity for a day in court and find themselves forced to make their case in front of an arbitration forum. 
This is why it is of vital importance, to you and to your family, that you seek out a Tampa lawyer experienced in securities law before you sign anything and before you invest! Although a contract may “look industry standard”, without the protection of an experienced Tampa lawyer who knows exactly what he is doing, you cannot know exactly what it is that you are agreeing to!
David Anton is a third generation Tampa Bay attorney who has handled all aspects of securities law since 1985.
FOR SECURITIES ADVICE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT DAVID ANTON OF THE ANTON LEGAL GROUP AT 813-443-5249.