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Amicus Brief Guidelines

Questions have arisen regarding amicus briefs in appeals of disciplinary matters before FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC). FINRA’s policy generally is to permit amicus participation in appeals of disciplinary matters before the NAC.

The NAC is the national committee that reviews initial decisions rendered in FINRA disciplinary and membership proceedings. The NAC consists of 14 members. The number of non-industry NAC members must equal or exceed the number of industry members. Counsel to the NAC is an Office of General Counsel attorney who is responsible for advising the NAC regarding a disciplinary proceeding on appeal or review before the NAC. Counsel to the NAC has authority to take ministerial and administrative actions to further the efficient administration of a NAC proceeding.

In general, an amicus brief may be filed in appeals of disciplinary matters before the NAC if the brief states that all parties have consented to its filing or a motion for leave to file the brief has been granted by Counsel to the NAC. An amicus brief may be filed conditionally with the motion for leave. The motion for leave to file shall identify the interest of the movant and shall state the reasons why an amicus brief is desirable.

An amicus curiae must file its brief no later than 14 days after the principal brief being supported is filed. An amicus brief shall not exceed 25 double-spaced pages, exclusive of pages containing tables of contents and tables of authorities. The cover of an amicus brief must identify the party or parties supported. An amicus brief also must indicate whether counsel for a party authored the brief in whole or in part and whether such counsel or a party made a monetary contribution intended to fund the preparation or submission of the brief. An amicus brief must identify every person, other than the amicus curiae, its members, or its counsel, who made such a monetary contribution. These disclosures shall be made in the first footnote on the first page of text of the amicus brief.

Amicus curiae may not file a reply brief or participate in oral argument before the NAC.