December 6, 2010
I am New Orleans securities attorney who has represented hundreds of brokerage firm customers in FINRA arbitration. I am writing to support the proposed Rule Change eliminating the mandatory industry arbitrator from panels involving customer disputes.
Having one industry arbitrator on the arbitration panel is simply not fair and it occurs in almost no other litigation context. It is akin to having insurance adjusters constitute one-third of the jurors in a bad faith insurance claim against a carrier. Or, having one-third cops on all criminal juries. These examples would never occur. Yet, this is similar to what happens with a mandatory industry arbitrator. Thus, to be perceived as fair, the mandatory industry arbitrator must be eliminated.
Further, the industry arbitrator, who may have sold similar products or adopted similar unethical sales practice, currently sits in judgment of other financial advisers. This is also fundamentally unfair. I urge the Commission to adopt this rule as soon as possible.
New Orleans, Louisiana