August 6, 2007
I am an attorney who represents investors in securities arbitration. I am very concerned about the presence of numerous "public" arbitrators in the NASD arbitration pool who have industry ties.
The NASD's proposed rule should be revised to disqualify all persons with industry ties from service as "public" arbitrators. Someone who receives substantial fees from the securities industry should not be allowed to serve as a public arbitrator, regardless of the nature of, or the dollar amount of, industry work. The appearance of bias, if not the existence of bias, is obvious.
It is patently unfair to the investing public frequently to have arbitration panels where a majority or all of the arbitrators have industry ties. While the proposed rule is a step in the right direction, it is not enough. "Public" arbitrators should have no tie of any kind to the securities industry, thus, the rule proposal should be modified to remove all ties. Thank you for your consideration.