July 1, 2014
The purpose of this letter is to provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with comments on the above referenced proposed rule change which was filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on June 13, 2014.
I am an attorney whose practice is exclusively devoted to the representation of individual and institutional investors in their disputes with the securities industry. Moreover, I am a former President and current Director Emeritus of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), am the former Chairman of FINRAs National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC), am the current Chairman of FINRAs Discovery Task Force Committee (DTFC) and am a former member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) Modernization Task Force.
It is my personal opinion that the proposed amendments to the Code of Arbitration Procedure, which would increase the arbitrator honoraria for the first time in fifteen (15) years, is long overdue and would be beneficial – if not critical – for the recruitment and retention of a roster of high-quality arbitrators.
It is also my personal opinion that the proposed amendments to the Code of Arbitration Procedure, which would increase certain customer fees that are associated with the initiation and prosecution of arbitration proceedings involving larger claims, also for the first time in fifteen (15) years, represents a measured and balanced approach to the economic considerations that are associated with the arbitrator honoraria increases discussed above.
Based on the preceding, I would recommend that the Commission approve the proposed amendments to the Code of Arbitration Procedure on an expedited basis.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to submit my comments on this rule filing.