In securities arbitration disputes, a split in the federal circuits arose over whether an arbitrator or a court should determine if the National Association of Securities Dealers Code of Arbitration Procedure ("NASD Code") Section 10304 barred the bringing of a claim that was more than six years old. While some courts have held the issue was a procedural one for the arbitrator to decide, others have held that it was a substantive issue for the courts to decide. Obviously, the resolution of the time eligibility rule by the court delays the resolution of the dispute diminishes the benefits and duplicates the efforts of arbitration. This note focuses on the Supreme Court's resolution of the circuit split and the practical effects to the investor of the decision. This note discusses briefly the history of arbitration in Part II. In Part III, the NASD Code § 10304 and its application is laid out. In Part IV, the interpretation of NASD Code § 10304 by the circuit courts is examined. The facts, procedural history and the majority opinion of Howsam v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. are discussed in Part V. Finally, the impact on the individual investor is discussed in Part VI.
Peter J. Smith IV,
Investors Win: Howsam v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. Makes Entering Arbitration Quicker, Easier, and Less Expensive,
4 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol4/iss1/5