Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington D. C.
Via email email@example.com_ (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
I write to object to the NASD's request for Accelerated Approval of Rule Filing SR-NASD-2003-158.
This filing concerns a proposed new Code of Arbitration Procedure.
Almost 20 years ago, the securities industry succeeded in convincing the courts to enforce arbitration clauses when investors seek to resolve disputes with their investment advisor or broker/dealer. Such clauses are now uniformly found in account opening documents. As investors currently cannot opt out of mandatory arbitration, any proposed change to the Code of Arbitration must allow the public the opportunity to comment on significant substantive changes to the arbitration system.
Fundamental concepts of due process require no less. This is particularly true when it appears that the filing will effect significant changes in the rules addressing the "extraordinary"
circumstances in which motions to dismiss might be viable, and the extent to which customers have an obligation to produce documents not just in their possession but also in their "control."
Significant substantive changes to the Code deserve a period for thoughtful consideration and comment by the public, rather than expedited review.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Very truly yours,
Robert C. Port, Esq.
Cohen Goldstein Port & Gottlieb, LLP
990 Hammond Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
(678) 775-3550 (Direct Dial)
(770) 901-9417 (Fax)