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
Apr 5, 2006 DFC050011 Decision in NASD Treasurer v. Lee Fisher Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Sep 14, 2006 DFC060004 Order Setting a Pre-Hearing Conference Disciplinary Order
Mar 18, 2015 DFC140002 Order Granting Complainant's Motion to Dismiss Hearing Request Expedited Order
Mar 18, 2015 DFC140002 Order Granting Complainant’s Motion to Dismiss Hearing Request Disciplinary Order
Dec 8, 2016 DFC160001 McBarron Capital, LLC Expedited Decision
Jun 12, 2017 DFC170003 Order Dismissing Request for Hearing Expedited Order
Feb 6, 2018 DFC170004 APPEALED: Dakota Securities International, Inc. Expedited Decision
Oct 6, 1999 DFC990003 Rule 9530 Suspension Proceeding DFC990003 Expedited Decision, Rule 9530 Suspension Decisions
Aug 3, 2006 E0120040071-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Respondent Redacted Decision
Mar 15, 2006 E0220030425-01 Order Granting the Parties' Motions for Leave to Introduce Testimony of Handwriting Experts and Denying Respondent's Motion to Introduce Testimony of a Polygraph Examiner Disciplinary Order
Jun 9, 2006 E0220030425-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Geoffrey Ortiz Disciplinary Decision
Oct 11, 2007 E0220030425-01 Geoffrey Ortiz Disciplinary Decision
Apr 17, 2006 E0220030425-01 Order Denying Respondent's Motion to Disqualify Expert Witness Disciplinary Order
Sep 1, 2006 E0220030845-01 Order Requiring Counsel to File Notice Pursuant to Rule 9142 Disciplinary Order
Aug 18, 2006 E0220030845-01 Order Postponing Hearing Disciplinary Order
Feb 21, 2008 E0420030634-04 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John M. Repine Disciplinary Decision
Mar 5, 2010 E052005007501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Sep 14, 2006 E072004006101 and 2005002392101 Order Denying Respondent Firm's Motions to Consolidate Disciplinary Order
Feb 16, 2007 E072004044201 Ralph Merhi Disciplinary Decision
Sep 8, 2006 E072004072501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Andrew J. Hardin Disciplinary Decision
Jul 27, 2007 E072004072501 Andrew J. Hardin Disciplinary Decision
May 22, 2006 E072004087801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Hung The Nguyen Disciplinary Decision
Sep 11, 2006 E072004088501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Fausto E. Callava Disciplinary Decision
Jan 16, 2009 E072005017201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John B. Busacca III Disciplinary Decision
Dec 16, 2009 E072005017201 John B. Busacca, III Disciplinary Decision

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