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
Mar 28, 2007 CAF040079 Order Regarding Witnesses Disciplinary Order
Mar 1, 2000 C05990026 Order Rejecting Contested Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Apr 30, 2003 C3B020015 Order Rejecting Contested Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Oct 12, 2004 CAF040056 Order Rejecting Filing Disciplinary Order
Aug 15, 2016 2013038986001 Order Rejecting Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Mar 16, 2007 C02050006 Order Requiring Counsel to File Notice of Representation or Withdrawal Disciplinary Order
Sep 1, 2006 E0220030845-01 Order Requiring Counsel to File Notice Pursuant to Rule 9142 Disciplinary Order
Jan 10, 2006 E8A2004065102 Order Requiring Respondent to Supplement His Rule 9252 Request Disciplinary Order
Sep 9, 2004 C9B040033 Order Requiring Respondent to Supplement his Rule 9252 Requests Disciplinary Order
Oct 31, 2007 20070077587 Order Resolving Certain Pre-Hearing Motions Disciplinary Order
Jun 11, 2007 E102003025201 Order Ruling on (1) Objections to Witnesses, (2) Motion to Substitute Exhibit, (3) Motions in Limine, and (4) Motions to Strike the Respondents' Affirmative Defenses Disciplinary Order
Feb 15, 2007 2005000316701 Order Ruling on Department of Enforcement's (1) Objections to Witnesses and Documents, (2) Motion to Partially Strike Respondents' Pre-Hearing Brief, (3) Motion in Limine, and (4) Motion for Ruling on the Admissibility of Documents and Business Records Disciplinary Order
Oct 28, 2004 CAF040020 Order Ruling On Pre-Hearing Motions Disciplinary Order
Oct 12, 2004 CAF040020 Order Ruling On Pre-Hearing Motions Disciplinary Decision
Feb 16, 2007 2005000316701 Order Ruling on Respondents' Motions to Strike Department of Enforcement's Exhibits Disciplinary Order
May 24, 2016 2014043020901 Order Ruling on Witness Objections Disciplinary Order
Sep 14, 2006 DFC060004 Order Setting a Pre-Hearing Conference Disciplinary Order
Feb 28, 2007 2005001305701 Order Setting Philadelphia, Pa as Venue for Disciplinary Proceeding Disciplinary Order
Jan 12, 1998 C3A970074 Order Setting Second Pre-Hearing Conference Disciplinary Order
Feb 2, 1998 C04970029 Order Staying Proceeding Disciplinary Order
Dec 19, 1997 C01970032 Order Striking Answer Filed on Behalf of and Directing the Department of Enforcement to Send a Second Notice of Complaint Disciplinary Order
Mar 3, 2006 E9B2003033501 Order Sustaining Complainant's Objections to Respondent's Expert Witness Designation and Report Disciplinary Order
Nov 13, 2017 2013035345701 Order Sustaining Department of Enforcement’s Objection to Respondents’ Inclusion of Erin Vocke on their Proposed Witness List Disciplinary Order
Oct 17, 2012 2010024320101 Order to Provide Verification in Support of Request for Continuance of Hearing Disciplinary Order
Dec 6, 2007 20070086505-01 Order to Show Cause Disciplinary Order