August 8, 2007
The "public arbitrator" should have NO connection with the securities industry. It is bad enough that there is an industry arbitrator. Due to arbitration agreements investors must arbitrate with the NASD. It should be of major importance to the NASD that they have no ties with the industry and the system is fair. The NASD currently fails these standards. Ask any investor if they would want arbitrators deciding their case who work for the industry or represent the industry. The rationale for industry arbitrators has been that someone on the panel needs to explain securities concepts to the other panel members. This is a weak rationale. It is the attorney’s job to present and explain the case to the panel regardless of their background, similarly to a jury trial. It is as if the investor is telling the NASD that they do not want an industry arbitrator but the NASD is responding back that we know what is good for you and that is having an industry arbitrator. In conclusion, the Rule Proposal is an improvement over the current rules but it does not go far enough.