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 ascending Type
Oct 12, 2004 CAF040020 Order Ruling On Pre-Hearing Motions Disciplinary Decision
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
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
Oct 31, 2007 20070077587 Order Resolving Certain Pre-Hearing Motions Disciplinary Order
Sep 9, 2004 C9B040033 Order Requiring Respondent to Supplement his Rule 9252 Requests Disciplinary Order
Jan 10, 2006 E8A2004065102 Order Requiring Respondent to Supplement His Rule 9252 Request Disciplinary Order
Sep 1, 2006 E0220030845-01 Order Requiring Counsel to File Notice Pursuant to Rule 9142 Disciplinary Order
Mar 16, 2007 C02050006 Order Requiring Counsel to File Notice of Representation or Withdrawal Disciplinary Order
Aug 15, 2016 2013038986001 Order Rejecting Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Oct 12, 2004 CAF040056 Order Rejecting Filing Disciplinary Order
Apr 30, 2003 C3B020015 Order Rejecting Contested Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Mar 1, 2000 C05990026 Order Rejecting Contested Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Mar 28, 2007 CAF040079 Order Regarding Witnesses Disciplinary Order
Oct 29, 2003 CAF030008 Order Regarding the Department's Motions in Limine Disciplinary Order
Feb 5, 1998 CAF970002 Order Regarding Severance Disciplinary Order
Oct 31, 2016 2014042524301 Order Regarding Respondent’s Motions to Stay Case Management and Scheduling Order and to Strike and/or For a More Definite Statement. Disciplinary Order
Jun 1, 2011 2010021196801 Order Regarding Respondent’s Motion to Stay Disciplinary Order
Apr 11, 2017 2014042524301 Order Regarding Respondent’s Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Requests for Admissions Disciplinary Order
Feb 24, 2005 C3A040023 Order Regarding Respondents' Pre-Hearing Submissions Disciplinary Order
Mar 26, 2000 CAF980002 Order Regarding Respondents' Motion to Preclude Designation of Transcripts; Respondents' Motion for a Protective Order; and Enforcement's Motion for Post-Hearing Submissions in Excess of Twenty-Five Pages Disciplinary Order
Mar 23, 2006 E102003130804 Order Regarding Respondent's Pre-Hearing Submissions Disciplinary Order
Feb 1, 2007 E3A20050065 Order Regarding Respondent's Pre-Hearing Submissions Disciplinary Order
Jul 18, 2000 C10000046 Order Regarding Respondent's Motion for Leave to File a Late Answer Disciplinary Order
Dec 29, 1997 CAF970002 Order Regarding Respondent Motion for an Extension of Time to Answer Disciplinary Order
Aug 9, 2007 2005000323905 Order Regarding Respondent 2's Motions for Official Notice Disciplinary Order