From: Stuart Finer
Comment on Reorganization and Revisions to NASD Rules Relating to Customer Disputes SEC Release No. 34-51856
Dear Mr. Katz;
I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the re-write of the NASD Code of Arbitration Procedure as it affects customer-industry disputes.
My concern is with the motion practice provision, to allow motions for dismissal and summary judgment. My experience has been that this practice has been an abuse by defense counsel to delay the speedy arbitration process and to hinder and delay the claimants attempts to have their claims adjudicated by the arbitration panel.
Arbitration is intended to allow aggrieved claimants an opportunity to air their claims without the rigorous pretrial procedures permitted in Court actions. Most customers are unaware of the agreement to arbitration contained in the open account forms, and now the industry is attempting to compel arbitration with more of the complexities of a court action. In order to be fair to all parties, you should be looking to streamline the process and not create additional procedural roadblocks.
Dispositive motions without the ability to depose witnesses, or make requests to admit or use other pre trial discovery devices give respondents an unfair advantage and deprives claimants of their "day in court". As a practical matter this practice causes claimants, who have already suffered financial losses to incur additional expense and delay. I urge you to reject this rule change, keeping in mind it is the claimants who have been damaged and their route to a resolution should be fair and expeditious.
Thank you. Stuart Finer Esq.