From: Julius Z. Frager, J.D., M.B.A.
I would suggest the following for Consumer Disputes:
1. Keep the list of 10 Non-Public Arbitrators and strikes as currently written. This will give those 30% who want the expertise of a Non-Public Arbitrator available to them.
2. Keep the list of 10 Chair arbitrators and 10 Public Arbitrators.
3. Allow each Party to strike 4 from each list of Chair and Public Arbitrators (instead of 3).
4. Have each Party rank from a joint list of all the remaining Chair and Public Arbitrators by preference. (No distinction at this step between whether on Chair or Public Arbitrator List.)
5. The top ranked Arbitrator on Chair List becomes the Chairperson.
6. If ALL of the Non-Public Arbitrators have been stricken, then the remaining top two Arbitrators on the joint list become the other two Public Arbitrators.
7. If a Non-Public Arbitrator is selected, then the highest ranking Arbitrator from the joint list, who has not been selected as Chairperson, becomes the 3rd Arbitrator.
Advantages over the proposed rule:
2. Does not increase the number of Public Arbitrators from 10 to 15. Hence there is less work for FINRA in developing the List and there are fewer Arbitrators for the Parties to vet.
3. Allows the Parties to have what they believe are the best and most qualified Arbitrators to hear their case, regardless of whether or not an Arbitrator is qualified to be a Chair.
Thank you for your consideration,
Julius Z. Frager, J.D., M.B.A.