November 24, 2010
I strongly support the proposed rule change, which will give public customers the option to obtain an all public arbitration panel. Public customers universally have been deprived of their constitutional rights to trial by jury and have been forced to arbitrate their disputes against the brokerage industry since 1987. The public perception, and my perception as an attorney representing public customers for the past 22 years, is that the arbitration process has been grossly unfair to public customers. Not only is the arbitration program run by an industry SRO (NASD/FINRA), public customers have suffered the further indignity of being forced to have brokerage industry representatives on all arbitration panels. The perception that it was the foxes guarding the chicken coup was inevitable and inescapable. Although the abolition of mandatory arbitration is the only true mechanism for leveling the playing field and holding the brokerage industry truly repsonsible for its misdeeds practiced on public customers, this proposal is a necessary first step. I strongly urge its immediate adoption.