Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clause
In the event of any claim, controversy or alleged dispute between you, as a user of the site who invests in an offering appearing on the Spark Invest site, and Spark Invest, its members or affiliates (Portal) (collectively the “Dispute”), you hereby agree that this Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clause governs your claim, controversy or alleged dispute between yourself and the Portal. You agree to attempt in good faith to amicably resolve any Dispute at least thirty (30) days before instituting any legal proceeding. Each party agrees to submit any Dispute for resolution by final binding arbitration after serving written notice, which notice shall set forth in detail the controversy, question, claim or alleged breach along with your attempt to resolve such Dispute. Upon such notice and attempt to resolve, the party may then commence an arbitration proceeding pursuant to the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to be held in New York, New York, before a panel of arbitrators to be selected in accordance to FINRA’s selection process.
In any arbitration and subject to the ultimate discretion of the panel of arbitrators, except to the extent that these terms either limits or contradict FINRA rules, each side will:
A – Be limited to a maximum of one (1) day of argument (including rebuttal), and the parties agree in good faith to minimize discovery burdens (e.g. confine the scope to actual areas in dispute and limit the topics and number of pages on which information is requested to matters directly relevant).
B – The decision(s) of the panel of arbitrators shall be final and binding and may not be appealed to any court of competent jurisdiction, or otherwise, except upon claim of fraud or corruption as by law provided, provided, however, that implementation of such decision(s) shall in no way be delayed or otherwise impaired pending the outcome of any such appeal. Judgment upon the award rendered in such arbitration may be entered by any court having jurisdiction thereof.
C – You agree that all Disputes will be limited between you, individually, and Portal.
D – To the full extent allowable by law, you agree that no arbitration proceeding or other dispute resolution proceeding shall be joined with any other party or decided on a class-action basis.
E – You agree that the following matters shall not, at the election of Portal, be subject to binding arbitration: (1) any Dispute related to, or arising from allegations of criminal activity; (2) any Disputes concerning Portal’s intellectual property rights; and (3) any claim for injunctive relief.
F – You agree that all arbitration proceedings will take place in New York, New York, United States of America. Any Dispute not subject to arbitration shall be decided by a court of competent jurisdiction within New York, New York. Each party hereby waives any claim that such venue is improper or inconvenient, except to the extent that these terms either limit or contradict FINRA rules.
By agreeing to this Pre-Dispute arbitration agreement, you are subject to the following:
- 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 FINRA rules.
- Arbitration awards are generally final and binding; a party’s ability to have a court reverse or modify an arbitration award is very limited.
- The ability of the parties to obtain documents, witness statements and other discovery is generally more limited in arbitration than in court proceedings.
- 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.
- The panel of arbitrators may include a minority of arbitrators who were or are affiliated with the securities industry.
- 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.
- The rules of the arbitration forum in which the claim is filed, and any amendments hereto, shall be incorporated into this arbitration agreement.
- If you or the Portal file a complaint in court against the other party that contains claims that are subject to arbitration pursuant to this Pre-Dispute arbitration agreement between yourself and the Portal, you and the Portal agree that this matter may be removed from the court to FINRA for arbitration of the claims that are subject to arbitration under this Pre-Dispute Arbitration agreement.
- No party to this agreement shall bring a putative or certified class action to arbitration, nor seek to enforce this 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 investor is excluded from the class by the court. Such forbearance to enforce the agreement to arbitrate shall not constitute a waiver of any rights under this agreement except to the extent stated herein.
The parties understand and agree that this is a Pre-Dispute arbitration agreement that may limit your legal rights as set forth above. A copy of this agreement will be provided to you by email. The Portal shall provide you with information on how to contact FINRA Arbitration or obtain the rules of a FINRA arbitration upon your request.