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Adjudication & 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. Title Type
September 29, 2015 SD-2029 Bret M. Shapiro with Dawson James Securities, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Denials
September 25, 2015 2012034211301 APPEALED: Fuad Ahmed Disciplinary Decision
September 25, 2015 2012032950101 APPEALED: Joseph R. Butler Disciplinary Decision
September 21, 2015 20080148227-02 Order Granting Respondents’ Preclusion Motion Disciplinary Order
September 15, 2015 2012033508702 APPEALED: Wall Street Securities, Inc., Gary Savage, Sr., and Louis Karl Kittlaus Disciplinary Decision
August 27, 2015 2012034934301 Wedbush Securities Inc. Disciplinary Decision
August 13, 2015 2011025622001 SWS Financial Service, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
August 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-026 et al. Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
August 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-031 et al. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
August 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-014 et al. B.C. Ziegler and Company, Benchmark Securities, LLC, Bernardi Securities, Inc., BOSC, Inc., Central States Capital Markets, LLC, City Securities Corporation, The Baker Group, LP Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
August 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-022 et al. First National Capital Markets, Inc., L.J. Hart and Company, Inc., Loop Capital Markets LLC, Martin Nelson & Co., Inc., Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co., LLC, Smith Hayes Financial Services Corporation, Wells Nelson & Associates, LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
August 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-018 et al. BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc., BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC, Dougherty & Company LLC, George K. Baum & Company, Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
August 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-021 et al. Davenport & Company LLC, Piper Jaffray & Co., Robert W. Baird & Co., Incorporated Stephens Inc., Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc., William Blair & Company LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
August 07, 2015 20090208031-02 Paul Charles Dotson Disciplinary Decision
August 06, 2015 2013036217601 Kenneth Brownlee Disciplinary Decision
July 28, 2015 2009016159102 Warren Forest Disciplinary Decision
July 27, 2015 2011027993301 APPEALED: Michael Earl McCune Disciplinary Decision
July 23, 2015 2012030527503 APPEALED: Thaddeus James North

Related Documents

Disciplinary Decision
July 23, 2015 2009016317701 James E. Rooney, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
July 17, 2015 2012034936101 APPEALED: Jeffrey D. Noard

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Disciplinary Decision
July 16, 2015 2012032997201 APPEALED: Stephen Grivas Disciplinary Decision
July 10, 2015 2009017440201 APPEALED: Louis Ottimo

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Disciplinary Decision
June 30, 2015 2012033128703 APPEALED: Brian Michael White Disciplinary Decision
June 29, 2015 20110263957-01 Jack Lawrence Howard Disciplinary Decision
June 26, 2015 2011030072301 Audra Lynn Lalley Disciplinary Decision