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2268. Requirements When Using Predispute Arbitration Agreements for Customer Accounts

(a) Any predispute arbitration clause shall be highlighted and shall be immediately preceded by the following language in outline form.
This agreement contains a predispute arbitration clause. By signing an arbitration agreement the parties agree as follows:
(1) All parties to this agreement are giving up the right to sue each other in court, including the right to a trial by jury, except as provided by the rules of the arbitration forum in which a claim is filed.
(2) Arbitration awards are generally final and binding; a party's ability to have a court reverse or modify an arbitration award is very limited.
(3) The ability of the parties to obtain documents, witness statements and other discovery is generally more limited in arbitration than in court proceedings.
(4) The arbitrators do not have to explain the reason(s) for their award unless, in an eligible case, a joint request for an explained decision has been submitted by all parties to the panel at least 20 days prior to the first scheduled hearing date.
(5) The panel of arbitrators may include a minority of arbitrators who were or are affiliated with the securities industry.
(6) The rules of some arbitration forums may impose time limits for bringing a claim in arbitration. In some cases, a claim that is ineligible for arbitration may be brought in court.
(7) The rules of the arbitration forum in which the claim is filed, and any amendments thereto, shall be incorporated into this agreement.
(b)(1) In any agreement containing a predispute arbitration agreement, there shall be a highlighted statement immediately preceding any signature line or other place for indicating agreement that states that the agreement contains a predispute arbitration clause. The statement shall also indicate at what page and paragraph the arbitration clause is located.
(2) Within thirty days of signing, a copy of the agreement containing any such clause shall be given to the customer who shall acknowledge receipt thereof on the agreement or on a separate document.
(c)(1) A member shall provide a customer with a copy of any predispute arbitration clause or customer agreement executed between the customer and the member, or inform the customer that the member does not have a copy thereof, within ten business days of receipt of the customer's request. If a customer requests such a copy before the member has provided the customer with a copy pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) above, the member must provide a copy to the customer by the earlier date required by this paragraph (c)(1) or by paragraph (b)(2).
(2) Upon request by a customer, a member shall provide the customer with the names of, and information on how to contact or obtain the rules of, all arbitration forums in which a claim may be filed under the agreement.
(d) No predispute arbitration agreement shall include any condition that:
(1) limits or contradicts the rules of any self-regulatory organization;
(2) limits the ability of a party to file any claim in arbitration;
(3) limits the ability of a party to file any claim in court permitted to be filed in court under the rules of the forums in which a claim may be filed under the agreement;
(4) limits the ability of arbitrators to make any award.
(e) If a customer files a complaint in court against a member that contains claims that are subject to arbitration pursuant to a predispute arbitration agreement between the member and the customer, the member may seek to compel arbitration of the claims that are subject to arbitration. If the member seeks to compel arbitration of such claims, the member must agree to arbitrate all of the claims contained in the complaint if the customer so requests.
(f) All agreements shall include a statement that "No person shall bring a putative or certified class action to arbitration, nor seek to enforce any pre-dispute arbitration agreement against any person who has initiated in court a putative class action; or who is a member of a putative class who has not opted out of the class with respect to any claims encompassed by the putative class action until: (i) the class certification is denied; or (ii) the class is decertified; or (iii) the customer is excluded from the class by the court. Such forbearance to enforce an agreement to arbitrate shall not constitute a waiver of any rights under this agreement except to the extent stated herein."
(g) The provisions of this Rule shall become effective on May 1, 2005. The provisions of paragraph (c) shall apply to all members as of the effective date of this Rule regardless of when the customer agreement in question was executed. Otherwise, agreements signed by a customer before May 1, 2005 are subject to the provisions of this Rule in effect at the time the agreement was signed.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2011-024 eff. Dec. 5, 2011.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2010-052 eff. Dec. 5, 2011.
Amended by SR-NASD-98-74 eff. June 1, 2005.
Amended by SR-NASD-92-28 eff. Oct. 28, 1992.
Adopted by SR-NASD-89-19 eff. May 10, 1989.

Selected Notices: 89-21, 89-58, 92-37, 92-65, 95-16, 95-85, 05-09, 05-32, 11-19.

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