December 3, 2010
I am a practicing attorney in Memphis, Tennessee and for the last 14 years have represented both Claimants and Respondents in at least 100 FINRA arbitration proceedings.
I fully support the proposal to remove the required industry arbitrator on FINRA customer dispute panels. It has been my overwhelming experience being on both sides of the cases that the industry arbitrators come into the process with a strong bias in favor of the Broker Dealer and/or the registered representative. This makes the entire arbitration process tilted, biased and unfair, especially to Claimants. It has been my experience that the Industry Arbitrator is typically the most vocal of the arbitrators for the sole purpose of trying to persuade and manipulate the other arbitrators into believing no misconduct occurred. Again, since I have represented both sides of the cases, my industry clients benefitted from this conduct and my claimant clients have had their due process rights ignored or undermined by this unfair process.
The removal of the requirement that one of the Panel members be from the industry is long overdue and I would strongly urge that this proposed rule change be made immediately. If you would like any additional comments from me, I would be happy to share my views with you at any time.
Scott T. Beall, Esq.