From: Rob Bleecher, Esquire
Nancy M. Morris, Secretary
Dear Ms Morris:
I am a former assistant district attorney, a former deputy attorney general, and a former registered representative. I support those comments which have recommended doing away with the practice of permitting Motions to Dismiss.
The concept of a forum where claimants can obtain efficient, inexpensive and equitable review of their claims against the brokerage industry is a good one, in my opinion. Every step the NASD takes in making the process more like a court proceeding takes the NASD a step away from the original concept.
My experience, though limited, as an arbitrator and as a claimant's attorney indicates to me that the NASD has taken steps to benefit its benefactors (i.e., those that fund its budget) at the expense of those it is supposed to be protecting. Motion practice significantly adds to the expense for claimants, just as does the sometimes blatant and sometimes subtle stone walling by respondents to requests for discovery under 99-90.
The more the NASD permits the arbitration process to resemble a court proceeding, the more the public has a right to ask: why don't claimants have the right to bring these claims in a real court with enforceable procedural rules, real discovery, and real judges.
The NASD proposed rule, in my opinion, continues us down a slippery slope that tips the balance in favor of the industry against the public. In a forum where the industry is supposed to be regulating itself, the scales should always be tipped in favor of the outsider, i.e. the public.
Rob Bleecher, Esquire