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Odd FINRA Arbitration Victory for Client

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Feb 11, 2010 9:50 pm


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by Bill Singer

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What We Got Here Is Failure to Communicate: An odd FINRA arbitration

Written: February 11, 2010

Every so often an odd one comes along – and here is just such an example in the form of a Public Customer arbitration complaint against Fidelity. See, In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Jorge A. Perez, Claimant, vs. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Respondent (FINRA #09-04340, February 9, 2010). Moreover, we have a Decision that seems to combine the linguistic stylings of Yoda from Star Wars with the pithy insights of the Road Prison Captain in the movie Cool Hand Luke.

Claimant Perez filed a Complaint against Fidelity on July 16, 2009, alleging

that there had been a communications failure between the Claimant and Respondent in respect of Respondent’s handling of the Claimant’s request that his Account with the Respondent be reopened on a certain date.

I'm channeling Strother Martin from Cool Hand Luke:  What we got here is failure to communicate. Lemme see, boss,  if I got the premise right.

Perez had a Fidelity account. That account was apparently closed. Perez asks that it be reopened on a particular date.

We all on the same page?

Perez claims that after he instructed Fidelity to reopen his account, that the brokerage firm denied his request. As the FINRA decision less than eloquently explains:

[Perez] had been denied that opportunity by reason of his having been requested to present his request on a certain document which had been provided by the Respondent only to be advised that such document had been inappropriate to his account and that a further document would have to be provided (the period intervening the Claimant's initial inappropriate document reopening submission and the date of his ultimate on-correct documentation reopening submission, the "Intervening Period").



Feb 16, 2010 8:26 pm

I just don’t get this…!!! so when I started my new office and the construction company was delayed in finishing its work, thus preventing me from “opening”, I could have sued in tort and/or contract? Of course since I had a new business on my hands I could just say that I will make 100k a month and therefore XYZ Construction owes me 100k. 

Of course w/ out showing proof of past income and further that XYZ knew what would happen if they delayed I would be dead in the water… unless I could show an intentional act. But just like Mr Perez none is likely to exist.

However in the kangaroo court of FINRA all things are possible. Maybe they don’t have a jurisdictional issue w/ XYZ either.

Also why did Fidelity have to let Mr Perez open a new account. Couldn’t they say that they reserved the right to “approve” or disapprove any inactive account or new account for that matter.

So now the regulators can tell us who we can and can’t do business with… ok, that was a dumb question.

Thanks for the post Bill…!