CME Group, through the Market Regulation department, offers a forum for resolving certain disputes concerning its exchanges. The Customer Arbitration Guide that follows should help explain the arbitration process and clarify the responsibilities of the parties, arbitrators and Market Regulation in that process.
CME Group can only arbitrate claims that concern CME, CBOT, NYMEX or COMEX related matters or products and involve:
Market Regulation administers CME Group’s arbitration program, but it plays no role in determining liability for an arbitration claim, or calculating the amount of any monetary award. An Arbitration Committee, comprised of members and non-member participants, is responsible for hearing all arbitration claims and determining whether a responding party is responsible for the disputed claim and must pay money.
The Arbitration Committee encourages parties to continue to try to resolve disputes privately before and during the arbitration process. To ensure that the parties have a full opportunity to explore settlement options, the Arbitration Committee generally will not consider testimony at a hearing concerning anything said between parties during settlement negotiations. This is meant to encourage parties to engage in frank and forthright settlement discussions without fear of admissions being used against them during an arbitration hearing.
If your dispute is with a person who, or firm that, is not a CME Group member, or if it involves a transaction on another exchange, please contact the NFA, CFTC or other exchange to inquire whether they can help resolve your dispute. CME Group staff cannot give you legal advice about your dispute, or about the choice of a forum for resolving the dispute. You can also contact an attorney for help if you want assistance.
Arbitration Claim Process
Sometimes it is difficult or impossible for a claimant to determine the name of a respondent; for example, a floor broker who executed a disputed trade for a customer. In such cases, the claimant should provide as much information as possible to identify the respondent. This may include, for example, the respondent’s title or function, such as “unknown floor broker who executed the order in dispute.” A claimant should always provide the name of the respondent’s employer when available.
When describing the dispute, it is best to use a thorough chronological description of the relevant events. The description should:
All documents that relate to the dispute should be attached to the form.
The form asks for the dollar loss claimed from each respondent. At the time of filing, you must provide a specific amount for each respondent and show how you calculated each amount. Claimants may include the filing fee paid in their calculation of damages. In some limited circumstances, attorney’s fees may be claimed against a respondent.
The completed Consent to Arbitration form and the appropriate fees should be sent to Market Regulation at the address on the form. Failure to provide either the requested information or the appropriate fees will delay processing of the claim.
CME Group charges an arbitration filing fee and a hearing fee based on the dollar amount claimed. The appropriate fees must be submitted along with the Arbitration Consent form at the time of filing. Filing fees are non-refundable, but Hearing fees will be refunded if the case is settled or withdrawn at least 10 days before the first scheduled hearing date.
|Amount of claim||Filing fee||Hearing fee||Total due at
time of filing
|$0.00 - $5,000.00||$ 75.00||$ 50.00||$ 125.00|
|$5,000.01 - $10,000.00||$ 150.00||$ 150.00||$ 300.00|
|$10,000.01 - $25,000.00||$ 200.00||$ 250.00||$ 450.00|
|$25,000.01 - $100,000.00||$ 250.00||$ 500.00||$ 750.00|
|More than $100,000.00||$ 500.00||$ 1000.00||$ 1,500.00|
Notice of Claim
At least 10 business days before the hearing, the parties must exchange those documents and disclose those witnesses they intend to present before the Arbitration Panel. Parties do not need to exchange documents or disclose witnesses intended to be used solely for rebuttal or impeachment purposes. A copy of the documents and list of witnesses must also be sent to Market Regulation’s arbitration administrator.
The arbitration administrator will prepare a document packet containing a brief summary of the dispute, the parties’ written submissions and the records submitted by the parties for use at the hearing. These materials will be forwarded to the parties and panelists in advance of the hearing. If a party believes that the arbitrators should consider records not contained in the packet, it is the party’s responsibility to obtain and present such evidence at the hearing.
All CME and CBOT hearings take place at CME Group offices in Chicago, Illinois, and all NYMEX and COMEX hearing take place at CME Group offices in New York City, New York. In certain circumstances, the Arbitration Panel chairman may allow out-of-town parties and witnesses to participate in the hearing via teleconference call. Parties requesting to participate remotely in a hearing should submit requests to the chairman as soon as possible after the written response to the arbitration claim is filed.
At the hearing, parties are responsible for presenting all relevant facts in support of their claim or defense, including witness testimony and documents. The parties are also responsible for ensuring that their witnesses are available at the proper time and place for the hearing. Market Regulation is not responsible for contacting witnesses or arranging for them to appear at the hearing.
At the beginning of the hearing, each party is given the opportunity to make a brief opening statement. The claimant then presents relevant evidence in support of his claim, after which the respondent can provide evidence in support of his defense. Each party may give direct testimony, question witnesses, examine documents introduced at the hearing or present rebuttal evidence. Parties may sum up their claim or defense in a short closing argument at the end of the hearing. Afterward, they will be excused from the room so the Arbitration Panel can deliberate. The Arbitration Panel’s decision is usually available by the following morning.
Notice of Decision
If the arbitrators have directed one party to pay an award to another, payment is due within three business days of receiving the notice of decision.
Occasionally, a party making a claim, counterclaim or cross-claim may wish to drop the claim, perhaps because he or she learns new facts that make the matter not worth pursuing. In such a case, the party making the claim should immediately notify Market Regulation’s arbitration administrator. If no answer has been filed in the case, the claimant will be allowed to withdraw the claim without prejudice. If an answer has been filed, only the chairman may dismiss the claim. The chairman may dismiss the claim with or without prejudice. A claim dismissed with prejudice means that the claimant may not refile the same claim at CME, CBOT, NYMEX or COMEX in the future.