One week ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a FINRA rule that will now allow investors the opportunity to select a panel composed entirely of public arbitrators, also known as the “All Public Panel Rule.”
The proposed FINRA Rule was published for comment in the Federal Registry in November of last year, and finally approved on January 31st. The SEC received 125 comments from attorneys from all over the country; including Vernon Litigation Group’s founding partner Susan Healy. Ms. Healy addressed the SEC on the issue and pointed out: “For years, the cards have been stacked against the consumer before the case even begins, due to the FINRA requirement that one of the three arbitrators deciding the case must be a member (or former member) of the very industry about which the consumer is complaining.”
The new FINRA Rule allows customers the flexibility to weigh in on several factors and determine with their attorneys whether to choose an all-public panel, or, in the alternative, to have two public arbitrators and one industry arbitrator. “If securities industry arbitration is to have any chance of producing fair results, worthy of public confidence in the system, all investors must have the same opportunity to have their cases decided by a panel that is not tainted by such an obvious, and easily remedied, source of bias,” Attorney Healy points out.
Vernon Litigation Group, along with other investors’ rights attorneys and customer advocate organizations, has consistently argued in favor of giving the consumer the ability to select arbitrators from a pool that has no conflict of interest with the Securities Industry. “This is a step in the right direction,” said Ms. Healy. “As an attorney who has litigated securities claims filed both in the courts and in arbitration, I strongly support the Rule change as a first step in correcting the fundamentally flawed securities industry arbitration process.”
Vernon Litigation Group is a Naples, Florida-based law firm that represents investors nationwide who are victims of securities fraud, stock fraud, and stock losses due to broker fraud and brokerage fraud. Vernon Litigation Group attorneys are experienced in securities arbitration and litigation. The firm assists clients attempting to recover losses caused by all manner of financial fraud and negligence. It focuses its practice on complex financial litigation and arbitration as well as business and commercial litigation.