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For Immediate Release
February 14, 2001

For more information contact:
Laura M. Oatney
(312) 781-1370 or
Jennifer Bucko
(312) 781-1373


February 14, Chicago - National Futures Association, a congressionally authorized self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry, announced today that it is now offering a new in-house mediation service to supplement its highly successful dispute resolution program. This new service allows parties to mediate at NFA without having to file an arbitration claim.

"Using mediation as a separate option before filing an arbitration claim or lawsuit will encourage settlement shortly after a dispute arises, which not only saves time and money but may preserve the parties' business relationship as well," says NFA Director of Arbitration and Mediation Cynthia Cain.

Mediation is a settlement process where parties work together to find a solution to a dispute that they both can agree to. An independent third party (a mediator) works with the parties to find that solution. The mediator does not decide who is right. Nor does the mediator decide who pays and how much-the parties do that. "Parties maintain complete control over the outcome of their dispute," says Cain. "That is one of the biggest advantages of mediating."

Besides maintaining control of their dispute, parties can save time and money by mediating before an arbitration claim or lawsuit is filed. Also, NFA has several attorneys who are trained mediators and knowledgeable about the futures industry. "The NFA mediators also recognize their neutral role in the mediation process and strictly observe it," says Cain.

Another advantage of choosing mediation at NFA is NFA's experience. NFA has been offering mediation as part of the arbitration process since 1991-with successful results. Approximately 70 percent of NFA's mediation cases settle. NFA's in-house mediators have been mediating arbitration claims over $150,000 since 1997.

If both parties agree to use NFA's mediation program, NFA will charge a $450 fee (each party pays $225). The $450 fee is non-refundable and consists of a minimal administrative fee that covers mediator session fees of up to four hours. NFA will charge an hourly fee of $100 for the mediator's service beyond four hours.

This enhancement to NFA's dispute resolution program is one of many planned for this year. Some upcoming initiatives the Association is looking forward to launching in 2001 are:

  • A computer-based training program for arbitrators, and
  • Online dispute resolution services.

For more information about NFA's new mediation program, visit NFA's web site at or call toll free (800) 621-3570.

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