March 9, 2018
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 February 21, 2018.
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 the current Chairman of FINRAs National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC) and a public member of the NAMC the former Chairman of FINRAs Discovery Task Force Committee (DTFC) a former member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) Modernization Task Force and a former President and current Director Emeritus of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA).
It is my understanding that the proposed amendments would amend FINRA Rules 12214(e)(1) and 12904(g)(5) of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes (Customer Code) and FINRA Rules 13214(e)(1) and 13904(g)(5) of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes (Industry Code) so as to eliminate the $400 fee for an explained decision.
It is my opinion that the proposed amendments, which would codify the FINRA practice that has been in effect since January of 2017, would be a fair, equitable and reasonable approach that would potentially remove one of the obstacles to parties requesting an explained decision and should, accordingly, be approved by the SEC on an expedited basis.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to submit my comments on this rule filing.