In July, FINRA issued a Press Release announcing that the Authority has formed a new 13-member Arbitration Task Force to make recommendations for improving the forum. Specifically, as described in our blog post FINRA wants ideas on how to enhance the transparency, impartiality, and efficiency of FINRA’s securities arbitration forum for all participants. The plan calls for the Task Force to meet periodically and to make its recommendations by some time next year to FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee, which is “FINRA’s Standing Board Advisory Committee.”
In the course of preparing the weekly Securities Arbitration Alert we’ve come across topics we think the Task Force should examine: mandatory predispute arbitration agreements (“PDAAs”), since Dodd-Frank puts this issue on the SEC’s plate; the proposed arbitrator classification rule; the definition of “customer” in the Code of Arbitration Procedure; and the need for greater transparency (e.g., publishing on the FINRA Website the number of panelists, by classification and hearing location).
To help the Task Force form its agenda, we’ve established a new email address – TFTopics@sacarbitration.com – and encourage readers and the general public to send us suggested topics for the Task Force to cover. Feel free to repeat the ones we’ve already identified:
1) mandatory PDAAs
2) classification rule proposal
3) customer definition
Or add your own topic(s). We will collect and analyze these suggestions and ultimately present them to the Task Force. We will also blog on the list of topics as it develops. This is not an official activity condoned by FINRA or the Task Force — just something we’d like to do. Please help, either on an anonymous basis or with attribution. Thanks.