On September 13, 2021, a three-member FINRA Panel issued a decision in favor of WSS’ client, an independent broker dealer, in an arbitration brought by a former customer seeking damages in connection with the purchase of annuities as well as the consequences of a potential IRS audit of the customer.  Despite FINRA Rule 12504’s general guidance that “motions to dismiss a claim prior to the conclusion of a party’s case in chief are discouraged in arbitration,” Respondent’s pre-hearing motion was unanimously granted as the Panel determined that there was no legal responsibility or liability to Claimants who “offered no viable, enforceable, non-speculative or provable claim or theory of damages.”

Joel Wertman, a partner with WSS’s Philadelphia office, handled oral argument.  Doug Fogle, an associate with the Philadelphia office, collaborated with Mr. Wertman on briefing these matters.