Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

August 1, 2020
Veteran Wall Street lawyer Bill Singer, the publisher of the Blog and the Securities Industry Commentator Feed, urges all FINRA Small Firm Executive Representatives to cast their 2020 FINRA Small Firm Governor proxy for Stephen A. Kohn. In order to ensure that the FINRA Small Firm community's voice is heard, your firm's proxy for Stephen Kohn's re-election must be cast by your firm's Executive Representative no later than next week.
Guest blogger Aegis Frumento considers the future of the legal profession. Aegis notes the increasing alarms about robots coming for the lawyers' jobs. As Aegis sees it, technology will pressure professional fees as the legal mystique, which justified hundreds of dollars an hour in billing rates, vanishes under the onslaught of artificial intelligence. It's not so much that the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. As Aegis muses, the first thing we do, let's program all the law.
Way back when, when I was a kid, I used to watch the television show "Dragnet." In those black-and-white days with cigarette commercials and cereal loaded up with lots of tasty sugar, we knew that the stories on "Dragnet" were honest-to-goodness real-life cases involving bad guys because, well, because the announcer's voice told us that the "story you are about to see is true; the names had been changed to protect the innocent." In FINRA's updated version of "Dragnet," the names seem to be changed to protect the guilty.
FINRA asked for a respondent's cooperation in an investigation about allegedly undisclosed tax liens. Then FINRA waited. And waited. Then it asked again but with a bit more oomph. But, still, all that occurred was non-compliance from the other end. And so the failed cooperation became a suspension and then a Bar. Lo and behold, the respondent informs FINRA that he had been hospitalized and never got its demands. At that point, FINRA shrugged and said it's too late. Which propelled the matter to the SEC.
Among the mysteries of litigation is when a Plaintiff or Claimant initiates a lawsuit but then seems to disappear or run out of gas. As kids often say as the after-school fistfight begins: "You started it." If you're going to start something, you sort of need to show up for the inevitable settlin' of scores -- be that fistfight, court, or an arbitration hearing room. There are times, however, when one of the combatants can't make it to high noon at the playground. You're grabbed by a teacher for detention. Your mother won't let you go. Your algebra tutoring is at the same time as the fight. You're six inches shorter than the kid who's waitin' for ya. You need to rush home so that the dog can eat your homework. There's an afternoon Mets game on television and you want to get home to watch the Mets' reliever surrender the winning run with two outs and two strikes in the ninth.