Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

March 10, 2018

The Network includes a daily feed curated by our dashing and effervescent publisher Bill Singer, Esq.
For those of you tired of Bill's pithy musings and brilliant insights, the 
Securities Industry Commentator
provides brief descriptions of legal, regulatory, and compliance matters with direct links to the underlying full-text documents. 

Wells Fargo Unpaid Overtime Class Action Gets Second Circuit Nod for AAA Arbitration ( Blog)
In 2015, former Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC entry-level financial advisors Reagan Tucker, Benjamin Dooley, Marvin Glasgold, Livia Sappington, Ewa Kelly, and Patrick LaBorde filed putative class arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") and the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") seeking unpaid overtime from Wells Fargo pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and State wage and hour laws. The Employees' employment contract required arbitration under Missouri law. FINRA rejected the actions citing its rules forbidding class and collective arbitrations. Read how the disputes fared on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

CCO Fined and Suspended For Amending Her Own U5 ( Blog)
Let's assume that a FINRA member firm fires its Chief Compliance Officer at 3 p.m. on February 8, 2018. So . . . who files that CCO's Form U5? Is the last act that a CCO should undertake is to file her own U5 and notify CRD that she is no longer registered with the member firm? Before you're too quick to answer, assume that the discharge was based upon the firm's inability to continue to pay the CCO's salary but otherwise it's all good and everyone is still friendly. Now assume that the firing is hostile and the CCO was told to get out of here immediately. Finally, simply assume that no one is particularly angry about the termination but there is no one on premises other than the COO with the registration necessary to prepare and submit the CCO's U5. Yeah, I know, that's quite a fact pattern to work through. In any event, consider today's featured FINRA AWC analysis by our publisher Bill Singer, Esq. and see what you think about the bit of self-help engaged in by a terminated CCO.
FINRA should not require registered persons to notify their member firms of a mere "intention" or "preparation" to open their own BD or RIA. Requiring such "premature" notice to an employer is an invitation for the employer to engage in anti-competitive and retaliatory efforts to derail or hamper the employee's proposed venture. FINRA has the right to require prior written notice when a registered person intends to begin substantive BD/RIA activities in furtherance of fundraising and/or engaging in business. Activities that are generic to merely creating an entity or preparing to engage in a business, however, should not trigger the proposed FINRA Rule 3290 prior notice requirement.

In The Year 2525 If FINRA Arbitration Is Still Alive ( Blog)
In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find that a Claimant in a 2018 FINRA arbitration had requested a postponement. In the year 3535, ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies. everything you think, do, and say. is in the pill you took today, and FINRA will find a way to notify arbitrators about a postponement request within one day. For options traders, there is the wisdom of Black & Scholes. For Wall Street regulators, there is the wisdom of Dodd & Frank. For those of us involved with FINRA arbitration, we have the wisdom of Zager & Evans.

Citigroup Hit With Over $4 Million Award In Wrongful Termination Arbitration ( Blog) When a former Citigroup Global Markets employee hits the firm with a FINRA Arbitration demand for over $16.5 million in damages, we know that there was likely a lot of bad blood engendered by what was alleged to be a wrongful termination. By the time the arbitration ended, there was quite a bit of blood pouring out of Citigroup as the firm took quite a beating before the final bell rang.