Professor Jill Gross (Pace Law), comments on an unusual event in the world of FINRA arbitration. (See FINRA Arbitrator Writes Explained Award To Create Precedent).
According to Gross,
[In a recent case], one arbitrator on a three-arbitrator panel in Tullis v. Ameriprise Fin. Serv., FINRA Arb. No. 16-01261, chose to add an explanation to the award, which his fellow panelists did not join. The case was, at its core, about whether a brokerage firm’s recommendations to its customers (husband and wife of modest means) were suitable. The panel ultimately found that they were not, and awarded claimants the full amount of compensatory damages claimed –$191,772.00, plus post-award interest at 9%. …
After the majority’s brief explanation, Arbitrator Paul Meyer wrote:
While the parties did not request a reasoned decision, this Arbitrator considers that most decisions deserve to be explained in order to create a body of precedent unavailable now that most courts no longer have jurisdiction over most securities litigation. Hopefully, this decision may help contribute to that body of law.
He then wrote an explanation far longer than the brief explanation of the majority panelists, stating “[p]rior decisions, even though not binding, are seldom available because FINRA arbitrators are seldom compensated for writing well-reasoned decisions.”