December 2, 2010
I write in support of removal of the industry arbitrator requirement. I am a consumer attorney at stockbrokerlawyer.com committed to helping members of the public recover investment losses. We have many contacts with people who are first learning about the arbitration process after suffering serious financial losses. No one really understands that when signing up for a brokerage account that they are doing more than giving up a Judge, a jury, and a Court of Appeal. Every consumer is surprised to learn that almost always another stockbroker, or someone closely involved with the Wall Street business side, will be on the arbitration panel. Members of the public are always very upset that their claim will be judged by a stockbroker or other industry member. For counsel, the industry arbitrator may present their own opinions and information during the arbitrator's determination of the claim instead of a focus on the evidence presented. While there are many other shortcomings and challenges for a private arbitration to be considered fair by the public, removal of the industry arbitrator position is a basic first step.