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 Decision Proceeding No. Titlesort descending Type
Nov 16, 2007 E102004083703 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harvey M. Schwartz Disciplinary Decision
Jul 13, 2004 C3A030015 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Herbert I. Kay Disciplinary Decision
Dec 2, 1999 CAF980013 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Herman Epstein Disciplinary Decision
Sep 27, 2013 2011025591601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Highland Financial, LTD. and Gordon D. Smith. Disciplinary Decision
Mar 10, 2004 CAF020022 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Hornblower & Weeks, Inc., John R. Rooney, Eric Ellenhorn, and Paul E. Taboada Disciplinary Decision
May 19, 2010 2007011937001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Howard Braff Disciplinary Decision
Oct 25, 2012 2008016437801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Hugh Vincent Murray III Disciplinary Decision
Feb 8, 2000 C02990034 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. I.C. Rideau, Lyons, & Co., Inc., Lamar A. Lyons, Sr., and Joyce A. Green Disciplinary Decision
Nov 1, 2007 ELI2004026701 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Iftikhar Ul Haq Disciplinary Decision
Sep 3, 2003 CAF010011 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. J. Alexander Securities, Inc., Richard Newberg, and James Alexander Disciplinary Decision
Aug 12, 2014 20100226015-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jack Brian Weinstock Disciplinary Decision
Mar 6, 2001 C07000003 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jack H. Stein Disciplinary Decision
Sep 25, 2000 C8A990081 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James B. Chase Disciplinary Decision
Jul 9, 2002 C9B010041 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James B. Moran Disciplinary Decision
Apr 26, 2004 C8A030034 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James Barrick Disciplinary Decision
Aug 13, 2002 C01010017 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James Richard Wamsley Disciplinary Decision
Dec 18, 2009 2006006046401 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James Richard Willard, III Disciplinary Decision
Mar 4, 2002 C05010017 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James S. Davenport Disciplinary Decision
Dec 12, 2013 20090209629-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jason Blum Disciplinary Decision
Dec 20, 2005 FPI050008 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jay A. Ochanpaugh Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Dec 12, 2001 C3A010005 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jay R. Rice Disciplinary Decision
Jan 30, 2012 2007010902501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jeffrey B. Pierce Disciplinary Decision
Oct 2, 2001 C9A000038 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jeffrey L. Farley Disciplinary Decision
Aug 29, 2003 C10020076 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jeffrey Mills Disciplinary Decision
Jan 18, 2013 2010023044101 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jeffrey S. Geraci Disciplinary Decision

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