Jan-Apr 2020 - No. 2020-01
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Contributor: George H. Friedman ( )
(ed: This column follows recent items of interest to securities experts and relating to arbitration practice. These items are drawn from the past quarter's editions of the Securities Arbitration Alert , a publication of the Securities Arbitration Commentator and appear here with the permission of SAC's publisher. This issue’s column is compiled by The Expert Examiner ’s Editor-in-Chief, George H. Friedman )
FINRA ODR ANNOUNCES NAME CHANGE: FINRA DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES! The exclamation mark is ours, but as of May 4 "FINRA Dispute Resolution Services," is the new formal name of what we knew as the “FINRA Office of Dispute Resolution," or "ODR" or "DR" in Washington-speak.     READ MORE
FINRA ODR AGAIN POSTPONES IN-PERSON HEARINGS, AND AAA FOLLOWS SUIT. HAVE WE SEEN THE FIRST FINRA AWARD WITH A VIRUS-RELATED VIRTUAL HEARING? The FINRA Office of Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) announcement on administrative postponement of in-person hearings through May 31 has been updated to affect hearings though July 3, and has posted new guidance on Zoom hearings, addressing security issues. And the AAA has updated its virus-related guidance, including in-person hearing postponements.    READ MORE
FINRA ISSUES REG NOTICE IMPLEMENTING INACTIVE PARTY RULE EFFECTIVE FOR CASES FILED JUNE 29. FINRA’s new rule giving investors more options when a party becomes inactive is set to go into effect for cases filed on or after June 29.       READ MORE
JUST A FEW COMMENTS, MOST SUPPORTIVE, ON FINRA’s MINIMUM EXPUNGEMENT FEES RULE FILING. The comment period closed March 18 on the FINRA Office of Dispute Resolution’s (“ODR”) proposed new fee regime specifically for expungement requests. The seven letters were mostly supportive, with some suggesting other improvements.    READ MORE
THE REG BI LAWSUIT ROLLS ON: SEC RESPONDS TO FINANCIAL PLANNING GROUPS’ AND STATES’ CHALLENGE TO REG BI. In the latest development in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the SEC’s Reg Best Interest rulemaking, the SEC challenges Petitioners’ standing to sue and argues it acted appropriately in enacting the regulation . We published in SAA 2020-05 (Feb. 5) a guest squib by Advisory Board Member Prof. Christine Lazaro describing this litigation. Here, Prof. Lazaro updates her earlier report and analysis.   READ MORE
ANATOMY OF A ZOOM VIDEOCONFERENCE MEDIATION.  We published in SAA 2020-12 (Mar. 25) an article by Mediator Roger M. Deitz advocating that parties consider using telephone mediation as a way to cope with Coronavirus-related delays and disruptions to the dispute resolution process. This week we feature a squib by Mediator Scott Douglas, offering a real-life report on a mediation conducted via a popular videoconferencing platform. The words that follow are his.   READ MORE
SCOTUS DECLINES CERTIORARI IN FIFTH CIRCUIT CASE INVOLVING FINRA’s “NO DO-OVERS” RULE ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS. FINRA’s customer and industry Codes of Arbitration Procedure were amended in early 2017 to add an additional ground for dismissals prior to conclusion of the case-in-chief (see Regulatory Notice 17-02 ). For example, Industry Rule 13504 (a)(6)(C), allows a dismissal where: “[t]he non-moving party previously brought a claim regarding the same dispute against the same party that was fully and finally adjudicated on the merits and memorialized in an order, judgment, award, or decision.”  READ MORE
DELAWARE SUPREME COURT: FORUM SELECTION CLAUSES ARE OK. The Delaware Supreme Court upholds unanimously in Sciabacucchi v. Salzberg , No. 346, 2019 (Del. Mar. 18, 2020), use of a corporate charter’s forum selection clause (“Federal Forum Provision”), mandating that stockholder 1933 Securities Act claims be brought in federal district court .   READ MORE
Contributor: George H. Friedman ( )
(ed: By reading how courts value, view and utilize testifying experts, one can better serve the fact-finder, more effectively help the client, and more likely avoid a bad experience . For selected court decisions, we draw again from a SAC publication, Securities Online Litigation Alert (SOLA), and the Securities Arbitration Alert (SAA), a nd other resources.) 
Cruson vs. Jackson National Life Ins. Co. No. 18-40605 (5th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020) . The Fifth Circuit granted interlocutory appeal, vacated order granting nationwide class action certification and remanded the case for further proceedings where district court failed to assess how state-law variations in contract law might negate the predominance element. Expert opinion to no avail. READ MORE
Tibble v. Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP , No. 18-55974 (9th Cir. Jan. 6, 2019) (unpublished). The test for determining how much, if any, prevailing counsel should be reimbursed for expert expenditures relies upon whether their contribution to the fact-finder's determinations on the prevailing claims, a unanimous Ninth Circuit holds.
Cordoba v. DIRECTV, LLC , No. 18-14832 (Feb. 19, 2020) ( per curiam ) (unpublished). “Arising out of or relating to any aspect of the relationship between us” means what it says, the Eleventh Circuit holds. Impact of disclosure of subscriber info to an expert goes to the Arbitrator. READ MORE
Adams v. Topolewski , No. B.278395 (Calif. Ct. App. 3 Dec. 30, 2019) (unpublished), reh’g denied (Jan. 28, 2020) . The Arbitrator erred in accepting the testimony of an unqualified expert, who happened to be a party!  READ MORE
Meyers v. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp . , FINRA ID #19-01864 (Wilmington, DE, Feb. 27, 2020): “Pursuant to Rule 13805 of the Code, the Arbitrator has made the following Rule 2080 affirmative findings of fact: the claim, allegation, or information is factually impossible or clearly erroneous; and the claim, allegation, or information is false. The Arbitrator has made the above Rule 2080 findings based on the following reasons.... During his testimony, the customer proved to be an experienced advocate as well as an individual who had worked as a physician and an expert witness in other controversies.”
Dominick & Dickerman LLC v. Wunderlich Securities, Inc. , FINRA ID #17-01930 (New York, NY, Apr. 6, 2020):Pursuant to an agreement between counsels, all the hearings, except March 12, were held at the offices of Claimants’ counsel in New York City. On the consent of counsel for both sides and the arbitrators, the March 12 hearing was held virtually via Zoom with counsel for Claimants, counsel for Respondents and the arbitrators all being at different locations due to concern with the coronavirus crisis.” ( ed: SER member Jill Gross was one of the Arbitrators .)
Contributor: Elizabeth Falk ( )
(ed: Meeting once a year to exchange views and learn more about professional interests lies at this organization’s roots. The Committees of SER work throughout the year to manage our finances, to increase our membership, to plan the organization’s future, and to prepare for the success and the funding of our next Conference. At least two members of the Board sit on each Committee, but non-Board members — past Board members and those who might one day want to join the Board — are a major strength of the SER Committee system. This column will familiarize members with the Board’s Committees and their ongoing activities.)
The committees of The Securities Expert Roundtable are hard at work to constantly enhance the value of membership. READ MORE
Contributor: Carrie Wisniewski ( )
( ed: Keeping abreast of rulemaking and other regulatory initiatives can be a full-time job. Bringing it all together (or most of it, anyway) into a single column designed for quick scanning with drill-down linkage for further details — along with a bit of perspective and commentary -- has great value, in our view, for the busy expert. We invite SER members to point us to rulemaking, legislation, regulatory notices and policy speeches that are creating "buzz" in the securities community. )
Coronavirus has just about everyone working from home, including regulators.
Examinations, interviews and requests for information are all taking place in
cyberspace. The stock market has seen wild swings. It seems many conspiracy
theories arise daily as to how the Coronavirus was able to spread so quickly. Alas,
regulation marches on, but to the beat of a slightly different drummer. Not much
to report from the regulators, except a reminder to wash your hands!

Highlights from various regulators follow. Please note this compilation is a summary of regulatory actions and is not meant to be an all-inclusive substitute for individual research via the various regulatory sites. READ MORE
Contributor: Geraldine GG Genco ( )
(ed: Dispite the affects of the COVID-19, members have continued to be engaged, as shown in the items below. Your contributions to this column are welcome, please send me your announcement of any achievements for inclusion. Whether it’s writing an article, hosting an event, joining a professional committee, or just pursuing a smart practice, we report on those efforts here. Look to the “Newsroom” section of the SER Website for more frequent, timely reports on the activities of our members.)
SAC ISSUES EXTRA ALERT CONCERNING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC Securities Arbitration Commentator (SAC) issues an "Extra"  Alert , authored by SER member  George Friedman , with breaking news of importance concerning the Coronavirus pandemic ...   READ MORE
SER MEMBER DISCUSSES LOSSES IN STATARBERS In another recent article, SER member  Gontran de Quillacq , discusses the factors that affect the performance of Statarbers, or Statistical Arbitrage, and how these factors have played out with the recent market volatility. 
SER MEMBERS VOLUNTEER TIME SPEAKING WITH LAW STUDENTS Two SER members,  George Friedman  and  Jill Gross , volunteered their time last week to speak with law students of the Corporate and Commercial Law Society at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law.  READ MORE
Contributor: Jerry DeNigris ( )
(ed: In this column, we look back to the prior quarter with a view to spotlighting regulatory or litigation developments that influential leaders and major institutions in the securities world are talking, writing and worrying about. Selected writings or speeches that we find online and that deal with the primary issues of the day will be the focus of this column. )
SEC REQUIRING ADVISORS TO DISCLOSE PPP LOANS An article in the Financial Advisor covers the Securities and Exchange Commission's announcement that advisors must disclose whether they have taken a forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to counter the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.   
Contributor: Patti Koetting ( )
(ed: This column seeks to apprise members of events, products and services that can be useful to them in their professional activities, including and especially the SER Website. Unless specifically stated, SER does not endorse or sponsor any of the products and services mentioned herein.)
Ask FINRA: A Panel of Senior FINRA Officials Respond to...

With the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) front and center across the world today, these are unprecedented times for the industry. Bring your questions and join senior FINRA officials for SIFMA's Webinar, hosted by the SIFMA C&L Society, on...

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2020 PIABA Annual Meeting and Securities Law Seminar

The Broadmoor 1 Lake Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80906 PIABA will host the 29th PIABA Annual Meeting at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Dispute Resolution Virtual 22nd Annual Spring Conference ...

Business & Corporate Business & Corporate Women in the Law Pro Bono Disability Environment 11 AM EDT Join us as we gather the dispute resolution community -- virtually! We will have CLE programs, group discussions, social hours, chat boards, &...

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WASHINGTON D.C. has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Media Stats

Website: Jan 2020 recorded the highest unique visits on record! Feb exceeded the 2019 monthly average, but Mar and Apr fell behind, we assume, in response to Covid-19.

2019 Average - Unique Visitors 1,486
2019 Average - Total Visits 2,684

Jan - Unique Visitors 1,826; Total Visits 2,775
Feb - Unique Visitors 1,553; Total Visits 2,408
Mar - Unique Visitors 1,386; Total Visits 2,507
Apr - Unique Visitors 977; Total Visits 1,854

LinkedIn: 147 Followers (+23.5% from this time last year)
Stay tuned for registration information about SER's upcoming Virtual Webinar "Dispute Resolution Post Covid-19" currently scheduled for May 28th at noon.

Keep your SER profile up to date! Log in and update your photo, expertise, and contact information, c.v., LinkedIn link. New functions include the option to link to a video. Your account page now show's in an individual counter for visits to your profile.
Final Note : The Contributors are members of the SER Public Relations Committee. They have designed this newsletter for the membership and worked to gather material for this issue. Members can help by sending Contributors information and suggestions for content in future issues. Members should also visit SER's " Newsroom " section of the Website periodically, as many of the items that appear here will be first posted in the Newsroom.
Copyright 2020 Securities Experts Roundtable - publication appears three times a year and is available as a membership benefit to experts of the Securities Experts Roundtable. Comments - suggestions welcome. Email with comments.

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Disclaimer : This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service or advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.