Jan-Mar 2021 - No. 2021-01
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Contributor: George H. Friedman (George@SecArbAlert.com)
(ed: This column follows recent items of interest to securities experts and relating to arbitration practice. These items are drawn from recent editions of the Securities Arbitration Alert (updated where necessary) and appear here with the permission of the Alert’s publisher. This issue’s column is compiled by the SAA’s publisher and Editor-in-Chief, George H. Friedman)
FINRA DRS POSTPONES IN-PERSON HEARINGS THROUGH JULY 2. FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution Services (“DRS”) has again administratively postponed all in-person arbitration and mediation hearings. READ MORE
FINRA DRS POSTS STATS THROUGH FEBRUARY: A DECENT MONTH AFTER A ROUGH START TO THE YEAR. FINRA Dispute Resolution Services (“DRS”) posted case statistics through February with key metrics starting the year still below 2020’s numbers, albeit improved over January. READ MORE
FINRA PUBLISHES REG NOTICE ON CHAIR HONORARIA INCREASE, EFFECTIVE FOR CASES FILED APRIL 19. We reported in SAA 2020-48 (Dec. 24) that the SEC on December 17 approved Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the FINRA Codes of Arbitration Procedure to Increase Arbitrator Chairperson Honoraria and Certain Arbitration Fees (SR-FINRA-2020-035).  READ MORE
FAIR ACT PUBLISHED. IT’S PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS THE LAST ITERATION. The recently-introduced Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act has been published and, as we suspected, it’s very similar to the version passed by the House in the last Congress.  READ MORE
PRO ACT PASSED BY THE HOUSE. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act – H.R. 842 – was passed in the House of Representatives by a 225-206 mostly party-line vote on March 9. READ MORE READ MORE
SURPRISE! FINAL DOL FIDUCIARY RULE WENT INTO EFFECT FEBRUARY 16 AS SCHEDULED. In somewhat of a surprise, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) allowed the Trump-era fiduciary standard rule to roll out as scheduled on February 16.  READ MORE
Contributor: George H. Friedman (George@SecArbAlert.com)
(ed: By reading how courts and arbitrators value, view and utilize testifying experts or decide issues experts encounter on a regular basis, 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 the Securities Arbitration Alert (SAA), and other resources. 
Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC and the Boeing Company, No. 20-794 (U.S. Supreme Court Mar. 22, 2021). The Supreme Court has agreed to resolve a major split on whether 28 USC Section 1782 provides for discovery in aid of private, foreign, commercial arbitration or only covers cases administered by governmental arbitration forums. READ MORE
Schottenstein v. JP Morgan Securities, LLC, No. 1:21-cv-20521-BB (S.D. Fla Mar. 8, 2021). A $19 million FINRA award is challenged in part based on allegedly sleeping, inattentive arbitrators at a Zoom hearing. READ MORE
Rollag v. Cowen, Inc., No. 20-CV-5138 (S.D.N.Y. March 3, 2021). For the second time in recent weeks, the District Court for the Southern District of New York holds that New York’s CPLR section 7515 is preempted by the FAA. The Court also rules that incorporating the FINRA Code is not “clear and unmistakable” evidence of the parties’ intent to delegate arbitrability.  READ MORE
Wigart v. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc., FINRA ID No. 20-00635 (Reno, NV Jan. 28, 2021). A sole Public Arbitrator holds in an explained award that Merrill Lunch defamed a former broker in its U5 description of her termination. 
Contributors: SEC-Hollie Mason (hollie.mason@brattle.com) and
FINRA-Jerry DeNigris (jdenigris@riversidefinancial.com)
(ed: Keeping abreast of rulemaking and other regulatory initiatives can be a full-time job. We include a few recent changes in rulemaking, legislation, regulatory notices and policy speeches that are creating "buzz" in the securities community.)
Please note this compilation is a summary of regulatory actions and comments and is not meant to be an all-inclusive substitute for individual research via the various regulatory sites. READ MORE
Contributor: Geraldine Genco "GG" Dube (GGenco@GGencoAssociates.com)
(ed: SER’s Committees are composed of two Board Member, and most have one or more members at large. Our Committees and members are listed under the “About Us” button on our Home Page. Committees either support the business needs of our organization or aim to develop and enhance the skills and expertise of our members.)
Contributor: Patti Koetting (pk@pkoetting.com)
(ed: Whether it’s writing an article, hosting an event, joining a professional committee, or just pursuing a smart practice, we report on member's efforts here. Look to the “Newsroom” section of the SER Website for more frequent, timely reports on the activities of our members.)
SER MEMBER ASSISTS WASHINGTON POST SER member Gordon Yale, the principal of Yale Forensics, assisted and was quoted in the recent Washington Post investigation of a California nursing home operator.
MEET OUR NEWEST MEMBERS! (Click on a name to view the full profile on SER's website, where you can also access their contact info and website. A huge thank you to our Membership Committee and current members who have nominated candidates for membership! Please send new member nominations to Membership Chair Alan Besnoff (abesnoff@ajbexpertwitness.com).
Lester Brol - Mr. Brol is an experienced senior investment professional with over 36 years of investment management and consulting experience with corporate pension sponsors, foundations, individuals and families. Providing expert witness and investment/wealth management services through Brol Capital Management since 2010, Mr. Brol is a CFA and an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Alabama Huntsville.
James A. Kyprios - Mr. Kyprios provides expert witness services to attorneys and law firms involving corporate finance, banking and lending. A managing member of Kyprios International Services, he has over 50 years of experience in corporate lending, credit analysis, due diligence and bank management in both domestic and international markets. His former banking positions include Head of International Dept., Chief Credit Officer, Head of Corporate Banking, V.P. of Acquisitions and Leveraged Finance Group.
Thomas M. Selman - Mr. Selman is a former FINRA Executive Vice President for Regulatory Policy and Legal Compliance Officer. In his 23 year tenure at FINRA, he managed a wide array of regulatory departments covering sales practice regulation, FINRA’s disciplinary process, and financial innovation. With a JD and CFA, he is founder of Scopus Financial Group where he assists clients in such areas as Regulation Best Interest, Sales Practice, Litigation, Training and Due Diligence.
Contributor: Patti Koetting (pk@pkoetting.com)
(ed: This column seeks to apprise members of events, products and services that can be useful to them in their professional activities. Unless specifically stated, SER does not endorse or sponsor any of the products and services mentioned herein.)


April 13, 2021 1:00-2:15pm ET

Join the SIFMA C&L Society to hear from industry experts on the challenges they have faced with virtual hearings and how they have been addressed, including: pre-hearing discovery, direct and cross examination of witnesses, interacting with opposing counsel, and engaging effectively with the arbitral panel.


May 18 - 20, 2021

FINRA's premier event — This year we are bringing the conference to you. The 2021 FINRA Annual Conference will be held entirely online. This virtual conference provides the opportunity for practitioners, peers and regulators to exchange ideas on timely compliance and regulatory topics.


April 23, 2021, Noon - 5:30pm ET

Sponsored by Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA), Current Issues in Securities Arbitration will be held virtually. Although the meeting is open to all individuals, this one‐day CLE program is designed for attorneys, paralegals, regulators, educators, experts, consultants, mediators, (securities) arbitrators.


September 24 - 25, 2021

Save the date! This year members will once again meet in person at the University Club of Washington D.C. for camaraderie and the latest updates in securities dispute resolution. Registration will open in June. Watch for agenda updates along the way.

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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 2021 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 Newsroom@securitiesexperts.org with comments.

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