December 3, 2010
I am a Seattle securities litigation and arbitration attorney. I have represented customers, stockbrokers and broker-dealers in my 27 years of practice. It is my pleasure to write in support of the proposed Rule Change eliminating the mandatory industry arbitrator from panels involving customer disputes.
The present system simply is not perceived as fair to customers. No lawyer would permit one-third of a jury in a lawsuit to work in the same industry as the defendant. In order for the process to be perceived as fair by customers, it is imperative that the mandatory industry panelist be eliminated.
Moreover, forcing a mandatory industry arbitrator on public customers really is unfair. These industry arbitrators often know a colleague of the broker whose conduct is at issue, or even sold similar products to those that are the subject of the arbitration. They really are not completely unbiased.
Fundamental fairness mandates that the Rule be adopted as soon as possible. I urge the Commission to do so.
Al Van Kampen