December 3, 2010
I am an attorney representing investors for over 30 years in Court and in arbitration. I support the right of choice for investors, as well as choice of forum and choice of composition of arbitrators for that forum for the attorney representing investors.
While the playing field for investors has leveled somewhat over the last 30 years, to achieve the goal of expedited equitable proceedings that generally is the goal of arbitration, it is necessary that investors and their attorneys are not forced into the "Procrustean Bed" of a mandatory industry arbitrator on all panels where a dispute is over $100,000.
The reasons include the following:
1. The industry arbitrator pools vary widely across the country in industry supervisory and compliance expertise -
the benefit that an industry arbitrator can provide as a panelist before the parties and/or in private caucuses is absent in many hearing locales around the country.
2. The attorneys both for the investor and for the industry can be more effective under the proposed rule which might eliminate the hazards of the "cramdown" industry arbitrator that neither party would want.
3. Adoption of the proposed rule would further both the perception and reality of the fairness of the process in many hearing locales.
I strongly urge adoption of the rule.