From: Jan Graham
Dear Ms. Morris:
I have been representing investors in NASD (now FINRA) cases for only four years. Before that, I served as Utah Attorney General for eight years. I thus bring the experience and concern for public investors as a paid advocate but also as a public servant. One of the most difficult tasks I now face is explaining to clients that the “judges” in their arbitration case are allowed to have any connection to the securities industry in terms of their own income. The presence of an “industry arbitrator” is absurd and unjust on its face. To allow, in addition, the “public” arbitrators to have a history of income – any income – from the securities industry is simply beyond understanding. I can assure my clients find it hard to understand let alone accept. The SEC has a duty at this time to sweep clean this entire corner of arbitration qualification.
I incorporate here the specific language of the comment letter submitted on August 6, 2007 by Laurence S. Schultz, because it articulates clearly and comprehensively the reasons why no fair arbitration system can allow public arbitrators who have any income from the very industry group to which the Respondent belongs. I can assure you that there are hundreds of individuals - investors and those who are concerned for them - who specifically endorse and adopt Mr. Schultz’s letter, and I strongly urge you to use it as your guide in reforming the definition of “Public Arbitrator”.