Broker- Dealer Law Corner

Broker- Dealer Law Corner

Category Archives: Arbitration

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FINRA’s Board Continues To Bend In the Wind Of Criticisim

Posted in Arbitration, Board of Governors, Enforcement, FINRA, PIABA, Registered Representative, Rogue rep, Rule 2010, Sanctions
On Wednesday, the FINRA Board met and discussed two topics that I recently blogged about: recidivist brokers and unpaid arbitration awards.  In predictable fashion, FINRA withered in the face of criticism that its existing rules and policies are somehow not tough enough on its member firms, and embarked on a proposed series of steps that,… Continue Reading

Altering Documents In A FINRA Arbitration Can Have Consequences That Go Well Beyond The Arbitration Itself…At Least For Respondents

Posted in annuities, Arbitration, Disciplinary Process, Discovery, Enforcement, FINRA
The FINRA investigative process and the arbitration process exist side-by-side; at times, the misconduct that is alleged by a claimant in a Statement of Claim may simultaneously be the subject of an examination by Member Regulation, or even an Enforcement Complaint. Ordinarily, Enforcement doesn’t pay much attention to what happens in a parallel arbitration, except… Continue Reading

A Miscellany Of FINRA Issues A Little Too Big To Call Nitpicking

Posted in Arbitration, Compliance, Disciplinary Process, Enforcement, FINRA, PIABA, Registered Representative, Sanctions, Wells process
For some reason, a bunch of noteworthy events all happened around the same time this week, so please bear with me as I vent a little about them.  Individually, they are irritating; in the aggregate, they are borderline alarming. First, the FINRA Wells process. I have blogged about this before, and how, in a couple… Continue Reading

PIABA Cries Wolf, Again, To Ensure That Its Lawyers Get Paid

Posted in Arbitration, FINRA, PIABA, Rule 2010
Once again, I found myself gritting my teeth in frustration after reading yet another PIABA report complaining about some perceived inequity in the FINRA arbitration process that cuts against customers. This week, PIABA released its study demonstrating that sometimes when claimants prevail in arbitrations against broker-dealers, the BD that lost is unable to pay the… Continue Reading

The Devil Is In The Details When It Comes To Enforcing Arbitration Agreements With Registered Reps

Posted in Arbitration, FINRA, Form U-4, Registered Representative
It should be abundantly clear to everyone that BDs are required to arbitrate disputes with their registered reps. There are several reasons I can assert this with such a great deal of certainty.  First, and most obvious, there is a rule about it.  Rule 13200(a) of the Code of Arbitration Procedure provides that [e]xcept as… Continue Reading

Correlation DOES NOT Equal Causation: PIABA’s Ongoing Quest to Sully the Reputation of Financial Advisors

Posted in Arbitration, Expungement
Today, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) published another hit piece on the expungement process.   For those of you interested, you can find it HERE.   Again and again, PIABA issues press releases and reports contending that the expungement process is broken because expungement is granted at an “alarmingly high rate.”  Let’s start with the… Continue Reading

NASAA’s Model Fee Disclosure Template: Welcome, Regulators, To My World, Where Customers Read Nothing, But Without Consequences

Posted in Arbitration, Disclosure, Fees, FINRA, NASAA
Yesterday, NASAA released a Model Fee Disclosure Template for broker-dealers, urging firms voluntarily to adopt the model as a means of clearly disclosing to customers and prospective customers the types and amounts of various miscellaneous fees that BDs ordinarily charge their customers. Working with FINRA, SIFMA, the FSI, LPL Financial LLC, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: That’s Right. The Hits Keep Coming for Registered Individuals

Posted in Arbitration, BrokerCheck, FINRA, Form U-4, Registered Representative
A couple of events caught my attention this week and, since they are related, I thought I’d address them together. On Monday, the SEC announced a proposed rule change to FINRA Rule 8312, the FINRA BrokerCheck Disclosure Rule. Rule 8312 permits FINRA to disclose certain information on BrokerCheck about registered individuals. As many of you… Continue Reading

If You’re a Respondent, Time is NOT on Your Side

Posted in Arbitration, Defenses, Disciplinary Process, Enforcement, FINRA, Registered Representative, SEC
There was a decision this week from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on an appeal of a decision by a respondent who – stop the presses! – lost an SEC administrative proceeding, and then lost his appeal to the SEC. Montford and Company, Inc. v. SEC, No. 14-1126 (July 10, 2015). One of the… Continue Reading

To Mediate or Not: Arbitration v. Enforcement

Posted in Arbitration, Disciplinary Process, Enforcement, FINRA, Mediation, Settlements
I recently had two clients, both respondents in pending matters – ask me the same question in the same day: should I mediate this case? The answers I gave them differed dramatically, not just because the facts of each case were very different, but because one case was a customer arbitration, where we are defending… Continue Reading

The Mystery Why FINRA “Close-Out” Letters Are Inadmissible in Arbitrations

Posted in Arbitration, FINRA
Anyone who’s handled FINRA arbitrations is well familiar with panelists who regularly respond to evidentiary objections by overruling them, but with the admonition that they will only give whatever weight, if any, to the evidence that they deem appropriate. While that can sometimes be frustrating, it is understandable. The Federal Arbitration Act, and the many… Continue Reading
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