Category: Securities Arbitration and Litigation

Courts Lining Up in Favor of Broad Definition of Customer Under FINRA Rules

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit issued a favorable ruling on the arbitrability of suits against FINRA members. Traditionally, under FINRA Rule 12200 any “customer” may request arbitration of a dispute with a FINRA member. UBS and Citi argued that Carilion was an issuer of securities, not a customer, and …

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FINRA Arbitrators Start Getting Tough With Discovery Abuses

Two recent FINRA arbitration awards highlight increased focus by FINRA arbitrators concerning discovery abuses by litigants. FINRA’s rules require cooperation of the parties in discovery (Rule 12505) and specifically empower the arbitrators to issue sanctions for lack of cooperation, failing to comply with the discovery rules, or frivolously objecting to the production of documents or …

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Fidelity Wins Against Morgan Stanley in a Non-Protocol Solicitation Case

In Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and Brian Wilder (FINRA Arbitration No. 11-03937), a FINRA arbitration panel found against respondents and annexed a 25 page Arbitrators’ Report to the Award which excoriated respondents for misappropriation of trade secrets (Fidelity’s customer list) among other violations. The Award stands out for various …

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FINRA DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS – JUNE 2012 UPDATE

FINRA issued its summary of disciplinary actions reported for June 2012. Certain actions are noteworthy and are indicative of regulatory trends effecting broker-dealers and registered representatives. Herskovits PLLC comments on the following regulatory actions: Net Cap Violations Freedom Investors Corp. (CRD #23714, Brookfield, Wisconsin), Joel Reid Blumenschein (CRD #1372334, Registered Principal, Pewaukee, Washington) and Gary …

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Regulators probe bank’s role in Facebook IPO

Regulators are examining whether Morgan Stanley, the investment bank that shepherded Facebook through its highly publicized stock offering last week, selectively informed clients of an analyst’s negative report about the company before the stock started trading. Rick Ketchum, the head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the self-policing body for the securities industry, said Tuesday …

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