Thomas F. Burke has represented brokers and investors in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") and its predecessor firm, the National Association of Securities Dealers ("NASD"), the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), the National Futures Association (“NFA”), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) the Chicago Board of Trade (“CBOT”) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“CBOE”). He has also been an arbitrator with the NFA and the CBOT.

Arbitration is a forum for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons, the "arbitrator", who hear all of the evidence and make a decision (the "award") based on the testimony and documents presented at the arbitration. Once the parties have agreed to arbitration, they are bound by the decision of arbitration panel. Only in very limited circumstances will an arbitration decision be appealable. The decision is enforceable in court. Arbitration is often used for the resolution of securities and commodities disputes, where arbitration may be mandated by the terms of the contract between the parties.

Arbitration is usually less expensive than litigating a case in state or federal court because there is less discovery and the proceedings are less formal with respect to the rules of evidence. Most securities and futures arbitrations at FINRA and NFA involve a three person panel. Each panel contains one or more individuals that have experience in the industry and can apply their knowledge in making an award.

If you need advice on the law relating to securities or futures arbitration, please contact Thomas F. Burke, P.C. at 312/362-1300 or at