November 30, 2010
This comment is submitted in support of the proposal to eliminate the industry arbitrator in FINRA arbitrations. I have served as both counsel for parties in FINRA arbitrations and as an arbitrator for over 20 years. When I serve as arbitrator, I see that many industry arbitrators try to be fair and reach a reasonable decision. Just as frequently, however, I continue to be shocked and dismayed at how openly biased many industry arbitrator are in their diliberations. I see no similar bias as to the public arbitrators. As a result many arbitrations are unfairly slanted toward the industry as only one public arbitrator vote is needed for a majority ruling in these instances. Often the industry arbitrator feigns inside knowledge about working within the system, but in reality it simply masks his or her bias. As an experienced arbitrator I witness this bias frequently. Such bias provides no faith in the system, and this basic injustice should be changed as soon as possible.