Attorneys as Arbitrators
We study the role of attorneys as arbitrators in securities arbitration. We find that arbitrators who also represent brokerage firms or brokers in other arbitrations award significantly less compensation to investor-claimants than do other arbitrators. We find no significant effect for attorney-arbitrators who represent investors or both investors and brokerage firms. The relation between representing brokerage firms and arbitration awards remains significant even when we control for political outlook. Arbitrators who donate money to Democratic political candidates award greater compensation than do arbitrators who donate to Republican candidates. We also study the dynamics of panel interaction. We find that the position of chair is an important factor in assessing an arbitrator's influence, although the financial relationships of other arbitrators may also affect arbitration awards. Coalitions with the other arbitrators are also important. If the chair and another panelist possess a common attribute, the effect on the arbitration award increases. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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