Adjudication and Decisions

When FINRA determines that violations of securities rules have occurred and formal disciplinary action is necessary, the Enforcement Department or Market Regulation Department files a complaint with the Office of Hearing Officers (OHO).

The Office arranges a three-person panel to hear the case. The panel is chaired by a hearing officer who is an employee of the Office of Hearing Officers. The Chief Hearing Officer appoints two industry panelists, drawn primarily from a pool of current and former securities industry members of FINRA's District Committees, as well as its Market Regulation Committee, former members of FINRA's National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) and former FINRA Governors.

At the hearing, the parties present evidence for the panel to determine whether a firm or individual has engaged in conduct that violates FINRA rules, SEC regulations or federal securities laws. In reaching its decision, the hearing panel also considers previous court, SEC, and NAC decisions to determine if violations occurred. The NAC is the national committee which reviews initial decisions rendered in FINRA disciplinary and membership proceedings.

For each case, the hearing panel will issue a written decision explaining the reasons for its ruling and consult the FINRA Sanction Guidelines to determine the appropriate sanctions if violations have occurred. FINRA also, when feasible and appropriate, can order firms and individuals to make restitution to harmed customers.

Appeals Process

Under FINRA's disciplinary procedures, a firm or individual has the right to appeal a hearing panel decision to the NAC, or the NAC may on its own initiate a review of a decision. On appeal, the NAC will determine if a hearing panel's findings were legally correct, factually supported and consistent with FINRA's Sanction Guidelines. While a panel decision is on appeal, the sanction is not enforced against the firm or individual.

Unless FINRA's Board of Governors decides to review the NAC's appellate decision, that decision represents FINRA's final action. A firm or individual can appeal FINRA's decision to the SEC and then to federal court.

Date of Decisionsort ascending Proceeding No. Title Type
Nov 11, 1998 C8A960094 Norman M. Merz Disciplinary Decision
Nov 3, 1998 C05930020 Donald R. Gates Disciplinary Decision
Oct 29, 1998 C3B980006 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Carlton Case Ellis Disciplinary Decision
Oct 26, 1998 C3A980027 Order Granting Complainant's Motion for Leave to Offer Telephone Testimony Disciplinary Order
Oct 23, 1998 C06980015 Order Denying Motion to Stay Proceeding Disciplinary Order
Oct 22, 1998 C07960105 Wayne B. Vaughan Disciplinary Decision
Oct 22, 1998 C9A960029 Pamela A. Hartsock Disciplinary Decision
Oct 22, 1998 C8A970040 Herbert L. Davis, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Oct 22, 1998 C8A960081 In the Matter of District Business Conduct Committee For District No. 8, Complainant, vs. Respondent Firm 1 and Respondent 2 Disciplinary Decision, Redacted Decision
Oct 22, 1998 C9A960029 In the Matter of District Business Conduct Committee For District No. 9, Complainant, vs. Respondent 1 Disciplinary Decision, Redacted Decision
Oct 20, 1998 C10970176 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Robert FitzPatrick Disciplinary Decision
Oct 15, 1998 C07970006 Joseph G. Chiulli Disciplinary Decision
Oct 14, 1998 CMS920005 John Roger Faherty & Nianne A. Norris Disciplinary Decision
Oct 13, 1998 C8A960052 In the Matter of District Business Conduct Committee For District No. 8, Complainant, vs. Respondent 1 and Respondent 2 Disciplinary Decision, Redacted Decision
Oct 7, 1998 C06980001 Order and Decision Granting Enforcement's Motion for Summary Disposition in Department of Enforcement v. Blake Vincent High Disciplinary Decision
Oct 2, 1998 CAF970011 Order Denying Motions for Interlocutory Appeal and to Reconsider Denial of Motion to Stay the Proceeding Disciplinary Order
Oct 2, 1998 CAF980022 Order Denying in Part and Granting in Part Enforcement's Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses and Denying Motion to Dismiss Disciplinary Order
Sep 18, 1998 C05960074 In the Matter of District Business Conduct Committee For District No. 5 Complainant, vs. Respondent Disciplinary Decision, Redacted Decision
Sep 16, 1998 C9A970045 Order Denying Motion for Entry of Default Decision Disciplinary Order
Sep 14, 1998 C07960096 Hunter International Securities, Inc., & Louis N. Nizza, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Sep 11, 1998 C10970029 John M. Columbia Disciplinary Decision
Aug 26, 1998 CMS970026 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Olde Discount Corporation and Todd Thomas Wodek Disciplinary Decision
Aug 25, 1998 C07960069 Steven A. Kirschbaum Disciplinary Decision
Aug 21, 1998 CO5970035 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Aug 17, 1998 C07970022 Allen R. Prewitt Disciplinary Decision

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