FINRA-DR has just posted its May 2016 statistical report on the facility’s section of the FINRA Website – overall case filings remain up from same period 2015 (20%) and customer claims are up even higher (29%). At the end of last month, filings were up 24% and customer claims were up 31%, so an expected […]

That a material term of a contract is not specifically defined does not doom the agreement, if sufficient external guidance exists to establish how the parties would define the term. Cowen & Co., LLC vs. Fiserv, Inc., No. 756 (N.Y. App. Div., 1Dept., 5/17/16). The Agreement and the Relationship In this case, it appears that […]

Following up on the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari, vacatur, and remand for reconsideration in light of DIRECTV, the West Virginia Supreme Court has reinstated a PDAA it had previously refused to enforce. In late February, SCOTUS granted certiorari, and then vacated and remanded for reconsideration in light of DIRECTV the West Virginia Supreme Court’s […]

By David C. Franceski, Jr. The term “customer” in FINRA Form U-4 and FINRA’s Code of Customer Arbitration Rule 12200 includes a member firm’s account-holder victimized by the rogue investment activities of a FINRA registered broker, even with respect to investments made outside the account that do not result in any commissions or fees to […]

An Explained Partial Expungement Award: Vogel v. Brouwer, FINRA ID #15-01636 (Detroit, MI, 6/6/16). Expungements are usually all or nothing – either the complained-of expungement is erased from the broker’s records in its entirety or those records are left untouched. Here, though, the broker gets only a partial and, from his perspective, inadequate expungement. Broker […]

By Sarah G. Anderson An unsigned arbitration agreement may be enforced against the signatory of a separate but related agreement, where the latter clearly and unequivocally refers and calls attention to the arbitration agreement and the signatory acknowledges that he received and read the arbitration agreement. Evans & Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. vs. Bayles, No. […]

By George H. Friedman* We all know the classic children’s story Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the last of three approaches turns out to be “just right.” The story line in my view carries over to FINRA’s efforts to address explained arbitration awards. The Authority is contemplating its third attempt at explained awards and […]

In a unanimous decision, the Seventh Circuit holds that an arbitration clause in an employment agreement containing a class action waiver violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and was unenforceable. Just a week later, a unanimous Eighth Circuit says enforcing the PDAA is permitted by the NLRA, but the PDAA’s chilling effect on filing […]

By David C. Franceski, Jr. *The obligation to indemnify and advance fees for former employees depends on what is “fair and reasonable.” **Factual findings agreed to and reported in a regulatory settlement or non–prosecution agreement that were not actually litigated and did not involve all of the present parties will not be taken as conclusive […]

Just as we went to press, we learned that several financial industry groups have sued the Department of Labor in an effort to block implementation of its new fiduciary standard rule. Reuters broke the story early on June 2nd that several industry groups, including SIFMA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Institute, the […]