NASD Listens and Speaks – Summary of NYCLA Meeting 2303

   

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Summary of NASD Dispute Resolution Program at New York County Lawyers Association

NASD LISTENS…AND SPEAKS: The Fourth Annual two-hour program with a representative of the NASD Dispute Resolution Section took place on February 3, 2003. Elizabeth Clancy, Regional Director for NASD Dispute Resolution’s New York Office, was the guest speaker at this evening forum sponsored by the New York County Lawyers Association. Art Fisch and James V. Gargan, two veteran arbitration lawyers and members of certain of the sponsoring Committees, moderated the discussion and directed questions from the audience to Ms. Clancy, once she finished her direct presentation.

Among the points of interest made by Ms. Clancy were the following:

• Building on a record year for new case filings in 2002, NASD-DR leaped 24% ahead of last January in the first month of 2003.

• Settlement Month in 2002, when “sales” on mediation are offered, resulted in 90 cases closed in the New York Region and 170 nationwide.

• Shari Sturm, the well-respected supervisor of the Washington DC satellite office, has been promoted to Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Region, and the satellite has become a full-fledged Regional Office with responsibility for eight major situses: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, District of Columbia, Richmond, Norfolk, Charlotte and Raleigh.

• NASD-DR is proceeding with a Code re-write, which will place the Code in plain English and chrono order, with plans to file around mid-year.

• MATRIX, the new computer system will be operational internally by the end of 2003. The next phase will be online filing, scheduling, and administration of cases.

• Claimant’s lawyers are saying that a thousand or more new claims could be filed alleging analyst fraud. NASD is taking this seriously and will be prepared.

• Caseload breakdown is about 70% customer matters and 30% industry and employment matters. Fewer than 100 cases each year charge employment discrimination.

• Motion practice has witnessed a “huge” increase, frequently of dispositive motions. NASD leaves the decision to consider with the Arbitrators. Late cancellation compensation for arbitrators and fees for handling motions are topics under discussion.

• Chair training will go online in 2003 and substantive training would then be more feasible.

• There are 5,700 arbitrators on the national roster. The Panel of approved mediators in New York City is currently full.

• NASD requires BD affirmations that Awards have been timely paid. Motions to vacate by BDs might thereby be monitored by the staff but Ms. Clancy had no statistics. Enforcement (L.A.) is watching vacatur motions for trends. Anecdotally, the number of challenges seems to be increasing, but the Arbitration staff’s focus has been on payment.

• The new taping system at the new Liberty Plaza quarters should enhance quality. The old tape machines are still available upon request.

  

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