April 8, 2008
I am writing to express my support for the proposed rule change(s).
I have had the genuine pleasure, privilege, and honor of representing public investors in disputes with the securities industry since as far back as 1979, and on a fulltime basis since 1991.
In the course of representing public investors who were victimized by brokerage industry misconduct in the form of benign neglect of their account(s) to the most egregious misconduct imaginable, I have witnessed firsthand how the securities industry has engaged in a systematic effort to subvert the original intent of securities arbitration to a system which it treats as the best aspects of litigation (defensive motions practice) while at the same time avoiding what it views as the most threatening aspect of litigation: runaway juries. The industry's efforts in this regard have been well documented by FINRA.
To the detriment of the public customer's wallet and its fundamental right to fairness, the industry has been largely successful in its efforts thus far, so much so that present day SRO arbitration hardly resembles the relatively efficient and cost-effective method of EQUITABLE dispute resolution it is intended to be.
While it is my STRONG conviction that any and all prehearing dispositive motions should be banned from this process, this proposed rule makes significant strides toward stemming the tide of the securities industry's attempts to superimpose traditional litigation-style motion practice on the arbitration process and developing a standard that recognizes the interests of both sides and the fundamental underlying principles of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism.
I support the proposed rule and urge the SEC to adopt it.