March 24, 2008
I am a member of the law firm of Swanson Midgley, LLC in Kansas City, Missouri. I have represented investors in securities arbitration for 17 years. While I strongly support the proposed rule's stringent limitations on pre-hearing motions to dismiss, I urge that these limitations be extended to all dismissal motions, whenever filed. Investors are entitled to a hearing, which means both sides present their evidence, and the arbitrators hear that evidence and make a decision. Allowing respondents to file motions to dismiss during the arbitration hearing, at the conclusion of the claimant's case, introduces a legal procedure into a non-legal proceeding that is neither designed for, nor administered by individuals trained for, proper application of this procedure.
In essence, the proposed rule simply postpones the filing date for motions that have no place in arbitration at any stage of the proceeding. I urge that the proposed rule be amended to provide that motions to dismiss be rejected at any stage in the arbitration proceeding, subject only to the narrow exceptions in the current proposal. Thank you for your consideration.