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SourceMedia cites attorney Brittany Weiner's opinion about FINRA arbitration after her latest win
After winning two separate FINRA arbitrations in the previous month in which the FINRA brokers were awarded expungement, Brittany Weiner speaks about Morgan Stanley's newly expanded arbitration system.
By: Imbesi Law P.C.
Some disputes between Morgan and its FINRA advisors are arbitrated using FINRA’s arbitration system, but other disputes, such as potential claims of discrimination or wrongful termination, will now be resolved through the company's CARE program.
Some FINRA broker-dealers have been requiring some of their brokers to submit to binding arbitration for employment related claims for several years, according to Vincent Imbesi, whose firm represents employees and employers involved in employment disputes subject to mandatory arbitration. Mr. Imbesi claims that J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“J.P. Morgan”) has utilized a similar system for is FINRA associated persons.
Brittany Weiner, a partner of the law firm Imbesi Law P.C., has recently represented several J.P. Morgan FINRA brokers that were subject to both a FINRA and employment mandatory arbitration clause. Ms. Weiner recently won expungement for a J.P. Morgan FINRA broker that was subject to mandatory arbitration. The award required J.P. Morgan to pay 100% of the arbitration fees, which totaled $21,750.00.
Dissatisfied with the FINRA arbitration panel’s decision, counsel for J.P. Morgan, Larry Sandak, a partner of Proskauer Rose LLP, requested that FINRA’s Regional Director “remedy” the alleged error made by the three FINRA arbitrators and change the arbitration award to prohibit the broker from obtaining expungement and making the employee pay for some of the arbitration fees. Mr. Sandak complained that J.P. Morgan’s rights were violated because his client did not receive a “full and fair hearing.”
In response to Mr. Sandak’s demands, FINRA denied his request to reallocate any of the arbitration fees against the former employee and denied his request to amend the award to prevent the expungement of the broker’s Form U5.
“It’s ironic that a broker-dealer would complain about its inability to receive a full and fair hearing when it required the dispute be resolved with arbitration, which has more limited discovery compared to a civil lawsuit,” Mr. Imbesi added.
Morgan’s requirement that its employees submit to mandatory arbitration for employment disputes is not a novel or absolute concept. Nor are all mandatory arbitration clauses enforceable.
SourceMedia, distributors of onwallstreet, a daily publication about the securities industry, requested Ms. Weiner’s opinion for an article about Morgan’s recent decision to require mandatory arbitration and the likelihood an employee that failed to opt out of the agreement would be bound by the terms.
In the article, Ms. Weiner claimed, “it would be necessary to find grounds to charge that the agreement was unconscionable or unfair.”
"They're not left with no option, but it's certainly a different option than going to court," she added.
The complete SourceMedia can be viewed at http://lawicm.com
Imbesi Law P.C. represents both customers and brokers in FINRA arbitration, including issues involving expungement of inaccurate information maintained in FINRA’s CRD and on a Form U5.