SIDE BAR: As set forth in the FINRA Arbitration Decision, the requested compensatory and punitive damages were each set at $7,300,000,000,000.00. So, okay, yeah, I first thought that Claimant Aaron was seeking $7.3 million. Then I noticed a lot more zeros than I usually see and, you know, I started counting them. Excluding the two zeros for cents, I tallied 11 zeros after the 7.3. For those of you who are math challenged, please consider this list:
1,000 = one thousand (3 zeros)1,000,000 = one million (6 zeros)1,000,000,000 = one billion (9 zeros)1,000,000,000,000 = one trillion (12 zeros)Quadrillion has 15 zerosQuintillion has 18 zerosSextillion has 21 zerosSeptillion has 24 zerosOctillion has 27 zerosNonillion has 30 zerosDecillion has 33 zerosUndecillion has 36 zerosDuodecillion has 39 zerosTredecillion has 42 zerosQuattuordecillion has 45 zerosQuindecillion has 48 zerosSexdecillion has 51 zerosSeptendecillion has 54 zerosOctodecillion has 57 zerosNovemdecillion has 60 zerosVigintillion has 63 zerosGoogol has 100 zeros
As it turns out, Claimant was suing for two separate awards of $7.3 trillion. To put that in perspective, there is something like $2 trillion in client assets at Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. So, if Claimant wins only one of his $7.3 trillion awards, Respondent would need to fork over about 3.5 times the value of the client assets in the firm's global wealth management division.
that would provide details regarding the factual and legal basis of this claim. This Amended Statement of Claim should also state specific detailed damages to the Claimant (including the dollar amount).
SIDE BAR: If you can't afford a lawyer -- and that is often the case -- the threshold challenge of presenting your claims in a compelling manner is where many pro se litigants founder. If you're going amateur-hour, make sure to first review copies of professionally drafted Statements of Claim and try to understand how claims are presented. If you can't afford the full range of a lawyer's services, you might want to see if you could pay to have someone review your draft Statement of Claim and give you some pointers.
FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes Rule 2504: Motions to Dismiss(a) Motions to Dismiss Prior to Conclusion of Case in Chief
(1) Motions to dismiss a claim prior to the conclusion of a party's case in chief are discouraged in arbitration.(2) Motions under this rule must be made in writing, and must be filed separately from the answer, and only after the answer is filed.(3) Unless the parties agree or the panel determines otherwise, parties must serve motions under this rule at least 60 days before a scheduled hearing, and parties have 45 days to respond to the motion. Moving parties may reply to responses to motions. Any such reply must be made within 5 days of receipt of a response.(4) Motions under this rule will be decided by the full panel.(5) The panel may not grant a motion under this rule unless an in-person or telephonic prehearing conference on the motion is held or waived by the parties. Prehearing conferences to consider motions under this rule will be recorded as set forth in Rule 12606.(6) The panel cannot act upon a motion to dismiss a party or claim under paragraph (a) of this rule, unless the panel determines that:
(A) the non-moving party previously released the claim(s) in dispute by a signed settlement agreement and/or written release;(B) the moving party was not associated with the account(s), security(ies), or conduct at issue; or(C) The 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.
(7) If the panel grants a motion under this rule (in whole or part), the decision must be unanimous, and must be accompanied by a written explanation.(8) If the panel denies a motion under this rule, the moving party may not re-file the denied motion, unless specifically permitted by panel order.(9) If the panel denies a motion under this rule, the panel must assess forum fees associated with hearings on the motion against the moving party.(10) If the panel deems frivolous a motion filed under this rule, the panel must also award reasonable costs and attorneys' fees to any party that opposed the motion.(11) The panel also may issue other sanctions under Rule 12212 if it determines that a party filed a motion under this rule in bad faith.
(b) Motions to Dismiss After Conclusion of Case in ChiefA motion to dismiss made after the conclusion of a party's case in chief is not subject to the procedures set forth in paragraph (a).(c) Motions to Dismiss Based on EligibilityA motion to dismiss based on eligibility filed under Rule 12206 will be governed by that rule.(d) Motions to Dismiss Based on Failure to Comply with Code or Panel OrderA motion to dismiss based on failure to comply with any provision in the Code, or any order of the panel or single arbitrator filed under Rule 12212 will be governed by that rule.(e) Motions to Dismiss Based on Discovery AbuseA motion to dismiss based on discovery abuse filed under Rule 12511 will be governed by that rule.
In the scheduling order for the December 1, 2016, pre-hearing conferenced call, the Panel ordered Claimant to submit an Amended Statement of Claim, which would include details regarding the factual and legal basis for his claim, and specific details of the damages he requested. The Amended Statement of Claim was submitted by Claimant on December 5, 2016. The Amended Statement of Claim did not provide any more clarity than he original Statement of Claim. It was still devoid of any factual or legal basis for a claim, and there were no specific details of the damages he requested.Per Rule 12504(a)(6)(B), a Panel cannot act on a Motion to Dismiss under the Rule, unless the Panel determines that the moving party was not associated with the accounts, securities or conduct at issue. In this case, although the moving party was associated with the account at issue, Claimant failed to identify any specific conduct to be the basis of the claim. Therefore, the moving party is not associated with "a specific conduct" because Claimant did not provide "a specific conduct" in his original or Amended Statement of Claim.