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.sort descending Title Type
Nov 6, 2007 2006004494201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Todd William Cowle Disciplinary Decision
Jun 13, 2007 2006004494201 Order Quashing Post-Complaint Rule 8210 Request for Information Disciplinary Order
Mar 28, 2011 2006004666601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Ryan J. Kirkpatrick Disciplinary Decision
Mar 18, 2008 2006004992601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Brent K. Deviney Disciplinary Decision
Oct 2, 2009 20060049953-01 Joseph Ricupero Disciplinary Decision
May 14, 2008 20060049953-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Joseph Ricupero Disciplinary Decision
Feb 20, 2008 2006005005301 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Shane A. Selewach Disciplinary Decision
Aug 2, 2007 20060050165-01 Order Establishing Pre-Hearing and Hearing Schedule and Procedures Disciplinary Order
Mar 2, 2012 20060051788-01 Harrison A. Hatzis Disciplinary Decision
Mar 22, 2010 2006005178801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harrison A. Hatzis Disciplinary Decision
Jan 4, 2011 20060052598-01 CALLED FOR REVIEW: Amended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John Joseph Plunkett Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2013 2006005259801 John Joseph Plunkett Disciplinary Decision
Feb 21, 2012 2006005259801 John Joseph Plunkett Disciplinary Decision
Feb 22, 2013 2006005318801 Kent M. Houston Disciplinary Decision
Dec 22, 2010 2006005318801 Kent M. Houston Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2008 2006005318801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Kent M. Houston Disciplinary Decision
May 3, 2012 20060053785-02 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Market Regulation v. Robert N. Drake Disciplinary Decision
Jul 25, 2013 20060053785-02 Robert N. Drake Disciplinary Decision
Sep 8, 2008 2006005523401 Order Granting Enforcement's Motion to Permit Counsel for Non-Party Witnesses to Appear at Hearing Disciplinary Order
Feb 10, 2009 2006005523401 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Nathan Lorne Disciplinary Decision
May 30, 2008 2006005565401 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Michael L. Vines Disciplinary Decision
Aug 25, 2009 2006005565401 Michael L. Vines Disciplinary Decision
Oct 21, 2010 2006005696601 Westrock Advisors, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
May 6, 2009 2006005696601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Westrock Advisors, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Oct 18, 2010 2006005786501 Hearing Panel Decsion in Department of Enforcement v. Joseph A. Padilla and Andrea M. Ritchie Disciplinary Decision

Pages