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
May 6, 2004 C9A030023 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. George A. Murphy, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Jan 3, 2001 C10000037 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. George M. Goritz Disciplinary Decision
Aug 15, 2008 2005001729501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gerald J. Kesner Disciplinary Decision
Sep 22, 2004 C10030087 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gilbert Alan Cardillo Disciplinary Decision
Jul 6, 1999 C02980051 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gordon Kerr Disciplinary Decision
Jun 18, 2013 FPI130001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gregg Charles Lorenzo Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Sep 27, 2013 20120321124-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gregg Charles Lorenzo Disciplinary Decision
Feb 18, 2004 C3A030012 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gregory A. Eastman Disciplinary Decision
Jan 4, 2013 FPI120005 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gregory E. Goldstein Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Jun 23, 2003 C9A020052 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Guang Lu Disciplinary Decision
Dec 14, 1998 C10980041 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harold Lee Jenkins Disciplinary Decision
Mar 22, 2010 2006005178801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harrison A. Hatzis Disciplinary Decision
May 8, 2009 2005000835801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harry Friedman and Joseph Schnaier Disciplinary Decision
Oct 17, 2011 2009018068701 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harry W. Hunt Disciplinary Decision
Sep 27, 2007 2005001305701 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harvest Capital Investments, LLC and Dennis Cotto Disciplinary Decision
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

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