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Securities Arbitration 2016


Speaker(s): Alejandro Schwed, Beverly Jo Slaughter, Carolann Gemski, Daniel Fisher, Darya Geetter, Ellen Slipp, Greg Curley, Hugh D. Berkson, Jeffrey Kaplan, Jenice L. Malecki, Jill I. Gross, Kenneth L. Andrichik, Lisa A. Catalano, Margo A. Hassan, Michael Pysno, Paul B. Marrow, Philip S. Cottone, Ross Intelisano, Ryan K. Bakhtiari, Sandra D. Grannum, Steven B. Caruso, Teresa J. Verges, William Binckes
Recorded on: Sep. 28, 2016
PLI Program #: 149783

Beverly Jo Slaughter is a Senior Managing Counsel in the Wealth Investment Management Litigation Section of the Wells Fargo Corporate Legal Department. Her team defends the company and its Financial Advisors in litigation before FINRA and various state and federal courts. The team also administers the Protocol for Broker Recruiting for Wells Fargo and advises on risk mitigation generally.

Ms. Slaughter obtained her J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law in 1997.

Ms. Slaughter regularly speaks on securities litigation and regulation and employee mobility before the NBA, the SIFMA Legal and Compliance Section and the Federal Bar Council. 

 


Carolann Gemski is the Midwest Regional Director of the Office of Dispute Resolution with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA).  FINRA is the largest independent regulator of securities firms doing business with the U.S. public.  FINRA’s chief role is to protect investors by maintaining the fairness of the U.S. capital markets, carried out by writing and enforcing rules, examining firms for compliance with the rules, informing and educating investors, helping firms pre-empt risk and stay in compliance, and providing trade reporting and other industry utilities.  FINRA also operates the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the U.S., assisting in the resolution of disputes between and among investors, securities firms and registered representatives. In her role, Ms. Gemski oversees administration of FINRA’s arbitration program in 17 states.

Ms. Gemski has spent the majority of her career working in public service, including 10 years with the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago. Prior to that, Ms. Gemski held the positions of Assistant Corporation Counsel in the General Litigation Division of the District of Columbia Office of Corporation Counsel, Special Counsel for Child Support Enforcement in Rockville, MD, and Associate in private practice in Annapolis, MD. Most recently, Ms. Gemski held senior leadership positions in Compliance at BMO Financial Group and Kaplan Higher Education.  

Ms. Gemski is a graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (MBA), the American University Washington College of Law (JD, cum laude), and Louisiana State University, (BA, Journalism), and she is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Illinois.


Current Employment: William G. Binckes, Attorney-at-Law

 

Occupation:   Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator, Impartial Hearing Officer, Litigator

 

Litigation Experience:  Over 25 years representing parties in arbitrations, mediations, trials, administrative hearings, and proceedings.

 

FINRA Dispute Resolution Rosters:  Arbitrator on FINRA’s (NASD) roster of arbitrators since 1992. Mediator on FINRA’s roster of mediators (NASD) since 1996. Classified by FINRA as qualified for service as chairperson, panel member, and sole arbitrator. Qualified by FINRA to serve on cases involving statutory discrimination claims. Serves as a resource for newly qualified chairpersons in FINRA’s arbitrator mentorship program. Served as mediator for 23 FINRA cases. Selected to serve as arbitrator on 95 FINRA cases; 58 of those as chairperson.  

 

 FINRA Customer claims have included issues of suitability; churning; unauthorized trading; break points; best price; fraud; misrepresentation; breach of fiduciary duty; breach of contract; breach of warranty; commissions; promissory notes; negligent supervision; margin; structured products; and breach of federal securities laws.

 

FINRA industry disputes have included issues of unfair competition; restrictive covenants; compensation (including wages, hours, overtime, bonuses, promissory notes, commissions, deferred compensation); wrongful termination; defamation; injunctive relief; expungement; breach of contract; statutory discrimination claims related to age, gender, race, disability and national origin; and sexual harassment.

 

United States District Court – Eastern District of New York: Panel of Mediators since 1992; panel of arbitrators since 2010.

 

Education:  Brooklyn Law School (JD – 1984); Fordham University (BA Communications – 1979); Baruch/Cornell ILR Program (1992-1993)

 

Notice: Available on short notice.  Available for cases of long duration.


Darya Geetter is an Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, at LPL Financial.  She is responsible for managing all litigation and arbitration matters impacting the company and its advisors.  She also leads the firm’s insurance program, placing all coverage. 

Darya has been practicing for over 25 years and was formerly at MF Global Holdings Ltd., where she served as Global Head of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel with responsibility for coordinating all litigation globally, managing all U.S. regulatory relationships, and leading internal investigations.

In earlier roles, Darya served as Deputy General Counsel and Executive Director at UBS Financial Services; Managing Director/Principal at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.; Counsel at Hogan & Hartson LLP; and held several roles at the US Department of Justice, including Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Darya earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago.  She clerked for a U.S. District Court judge in New Orleans, LA and is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, New York, Massachusetts, and various U.S. district and appellate courts.  She is currently on the FINRA NAMC and is Chair of the SIFMA Arbitration Committee.


Experience: Over 46 years of experience. Alternate Dispute Resolution experience includes service as an arbitrator resolving cases that involve a broad range of business issues including business dissolution, consumer contracts, construction contracts, computer technology, insurance contracts, credit and loan agreements, employment contracts and disputes involving securities with an emphasis on claims against securities brokers and underwriters.

Member, Board of Managers, Charter Institute of Arbitrators, London, England. Member, State of New York Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District.  Former Chairman of the Grievance Committee for the Westchester County Bar Association. Adjunct Member of the Regents Review Committee, an administrative law appellate panel that primarily hears appeals from professional misconduct decisions by state boards for professional groups licensed and regulate by the New York State Department of Education.

Arbitration Panel Memberships: American Arbitration Association, Commercial Panel, FINRA, National Arbitration and Mediation, Panel of Arbitrators at the National Futures Exchange, United States Council for International Business (USCIB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Member, International Panel, British Columbia International Commercial Centre, Vancouver, Canada

Professional Licenses: Admitted to the Bar, New York State, First Department, 1969; U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 1970; U.S. District Court, Southern District for New York, 1978; U.S. Tax Court, 1980

Professional Associations: American Bar Association (Member, Dispute Resolution Section); New York State Bar Association (Member, Arbitration Committee); Westchester County Bar Association (Member Dispute Resolutions Committee, Grievance Committee). Fellow (FCIArb), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, England (Chairman, Assessment & Examinations Board)

Education: Case Western Reserve University (BA-1966); New York Law School (JD1969). Academic Honors: Editor, New York Law School Law Review; Nathaniel L. Goldstein American Jurisprudence Award for Constitutional Law.

Academic Activities:

Adjunct Professor, New York Law School teaching Domestic Arbitration

Guest Lecturer, New School for Social Research, New York, New York;

CPR, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution New York Law School

Approved Faculty Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, England

Faculty, American Arbitration Association University


Greg Curley is Senior Litigation Counsel for Advisor Group, and has been in that role since 2010. He oversees all litigation involving Advisor Group broker-dealers FSC Securities Corporation, Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., SagePoint Financial, Inc., and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., and he maintains a personal docket of FINRA arbitration matters where he serves as lead defense counsel.

Career Summary

From 1998 through 2010, Curley served in various legal and compliance roles for Royal Alliance with his primary focus on litigation.  Simultaneous to his litigation responsibilities, Curley has also served roles for both Royal Alliance and Advisor Group relating to business development, acquisitions and representative recruiting.  Prior to joining Royal Alliance, Curley was a litigation associate with the Law Offices of Joseph D'Elia in Huntington, New York.  While with D’Elia, Curley represented several national broker-dealers in FINRA arbitration and regulatory proceedings throughout the country.  Curley appeared in over 100 FINRA matters during his tenure with D’Elia.

In 2014, Curley was appointed to FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC).  Curley’s term on the NAMC runs through 2017.

Background

Curley received his JD from Creighton Law School and a BA from Fairfield University.


Hugh D. Berkson is a Principal attorney with McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA, in Cleveland, Ohio.  Hugh focuses his practice in securities arbitration and litigation.

Hugh obtained a business degree in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Barristers and received both the American Jurisprudence Award (National Mock Trial) and the Jonathan M. Ault Mock Trial Prize. He later served as an Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he taught trial practice.

Hugh is the current President of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), an international legal association composed of practitioners who represent investors in disputes with the securities industry. He also serves on PIABA’s Board of Directors. Hugh regularly participates as both a moderator and panelist at PIABA’s national meetings and seminars and also has previously been a panelist at a PLI Securities Arbitration Program, as well as the Ohio Securities Conference.  He has served as a resource regarding important issues concerning American investors, and has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Investment News, On Wall Street, Financial Planning, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other media outlets. Hugh maintains a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review rating of AV® Preeminent™, and an AVVO rating of 10.0 “Superb.”


JENICE L. MALECKI, ESQ. is a well-known New York securities attorney, is a trained mediator and has been a FINRA arbitrator and Chairperson.  She represents individual and institutional investors in arbitration and litigation, as well as licensed industry participants in regulatory hearings and employment disputes and whistleblower filings.  She has represented private and public companies, as well as a range of individuals from blue-collar workers to athletes, musicians, and billionaire founders of well-known international companies. Malecki Law has represented clients in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as those from many Western European countries, India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Israel and in several South American countries.  

Ms. Malecki has been a member of FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee, on the Board of Directors (and an Officer of) of both the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) and the PIABA Foundation, as well as has been a member of the Securities and Exchanges Committee at the New York City Bar Association, as well as has been a member of the American and New York State Bar Associations. She has spoken at the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), the New York City Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers Association on several panels, and done securities arbitration clinic class lecturing and mock arbitration work at FINRA, Yale, Columbia, Fordham Law School, St. John’s Law School, Brooklyn Law School, Albany Law School and New York Law School, in addition to regularly speaking at PIABA’s year-end conference.

Ms. Malecki has been named a Top Attorney by Super Lawyers and the National Law Journal, featured in the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, National Law Journal and other publications, as well as was named one of “New York’s Women Leaders in the Law 2014,” She appears regularly on TV, in the news and radio. She is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest legal ability rating of “AV Preeminent.” In 2014, 2015 and 2019, she visited Senators and House of Representatives members’ offices to garner support for investor related laws.


Lisa A. Catalano has more than 25 years of experience in the securities field and has practiced on both the defense and claimants’ sides and has been in academia.  She is the Founder and Principal of Catalano Arbitration and Mediation Services.  She provides divorce mediation and mediation and arbitration services in the securities field including cases involving sales practice disputes and employment disputes (i.e., promissory note cases, wrongful termination, defamation, discrimination, whistleblower and wage and hours claims.)

Before starting her own firm, Lisa was a Professor of Clinical Education at St. John’s University School of Law and the Director of the Securities Arbitration Clinic.  The Securities Arbitration Clinic offers free student representation to investors in arbitration claims involving misrepresentation, unsuitability, unauthorized trading, excessive trading (“churning”), and failure to supervise, among other claims, against broker-dealers and registered representatives.  The Clinic student interns handle all phases of the client representation under professor supervision.

Immediately prior to joining St. John’s in 2006, Professor Catalano was a Senior Partner at the firm of Davidson & Grannum, LLP, a firm specializing in representing and counseling corporate and individual clients in four practice areas: broker-dealer arbitrations, mediations and litigations; employment law counseling, EEOC and state agency matters, mediations, arbitrations and litigations; securities regulatory matters; and commercial disputes. She spent seven years at Davidson & Grannum.  Prior to that, Lisa spent five years at UBS Financial Services Inc. (f/k/a PaineWebber Incorporated).  She was a Corporate Vice President and Assistant General Counsel in UBS’s Litigation Department where she handled securities arbitration claims brought by the firm’s customers against the firm and its registered representatives.  She has also handled industry disputes involving raiding and recruiting matters and promissory note cases.

Lisa has extensive experience representing broker-dealers and brokers in customer disputes, regulatory investigations, and collection and employment matters, and has conducted numerous arbitration hearings, mediations, training sessions and seminars.  She has been a FINRA arbitrator since 1999 and has also served on FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC) and the FINRA Investor Advocacy Clinic Grant Program Committee.  She previously served on PIABA’s Board of Directors and was the Chair of PIABA’s Amicus Curiae and Arbitration Committees and served on its Legislation Advisory Board.  She has published in law reviews and journals in the areas of securities arbitration and dispute resolution and investor protection.  She received her J.D. cum laude from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City.


Michael Pysno is a mediator of securities, banking, personal and corporate trust, and employment disputes. 

Prior to opening his mediation practice in 2013, Michael was Managing Director and Senior Associate General Counsel at RBC Wealth Management (formerly RBC Dain Rauscher) in Minneapolis.  In that role Michael led a group responsible for all of RBC Wealth Management’s dispute resolution activities, including litigation, arbitration, customer complaints, and broker note collections.  He also supervised the RBC Wealth Management employment law team and handled regulatory enforcement matters.  Prior to joining RBC, Michael was Vice President and Associate General Counsel at U. S. Bancorp.  There he was in charge of the bank’s defense litigation and supervised the employment, consumer banking, and trust legal groups.  He began his legal career as a litigator with Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis, where he dealt with securities, construction, products liability, and employment matters. 

Michael has lectured and participated in CLE panels on a variety of topics including securities litigation, broker-dealer customer complaints, deferred compensation plans, employee handbooks, mediation practice, in-house staffing, attorney-client privilege, multi-jurisdictional practice, litigation risk assessment, and in-house litigation management.  He has also presented education programs to clients on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, and defamation.

Michael is a FINRA arbitrator and mediator and is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice.  He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Brooklyn Law Review.


Professor Jill I. Gross is a nationally known expert in the field of securities dispute resolution, and teaches courses in the areas of dispute resolution, ethics, securities law and lawyering skills. She was the James D. Hopkins Professor of Law, a two-year rotating endowed Chair, from 2013-2015, Director of the Investor Rights Clinic from 1999-2015, and Director of Legal Skills Programs from 2010-2015. She also has taught at Cornell Law School, UNLV’s Boyd School of Law and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

She is an author of the preeminent hornbook, Broker-Dealer Law and Regulation (Wolters Kluwer 4th ed. annually updated) (with J. Fanto and N. Poser), has published dozens of book chapters and articles on the negotiation, mediation and arbitration of securities and other commercial disputes, and is a Senior Contributing Editor to the Securities Online Litigation Alert. She has chaired the AALS Section of Dispute Resolution, the Securities ADR Committee of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and the Practising Law Institute’s annual Securities Arbitration program. She is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution, and the National Futures Association, and a member of the Securities Experts Roundtable. She is a former public member of the FINRA National Arbitration and Mediation Committee, and a current member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women. She has been quoted dozens of times in the national media, and retained as an expert in securities arbitrations, litigations and enforcement proceedings. 

Before entering legal education, Professor Gross was an attorney in the New York City firms of Kaye Scholer LLP, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Silberberg, and Parcher Hayes & Snyder, representing clients in white collar criminal and securities enforcement proceedings, securities arbitrations, and other commercial litigation. She received an A.B. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Cornell University and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.


Ross B. Intelisano is a partner of Rich, Intelisano & Katz, LLP, an internationally recognized law firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles that focuses on complex, highly sophisticated litigation and arbitration, and related advisory and transactional services. Mr. Intelisano represents individual and institutional investors in securities arbitration and litigation against financial firms. He also represents OTC derivatives and commodities investors, as well as employees in industry disputes and self-regulatory organization investigations.

Mr. Intelisano has extensive experience in large and complex financial fraud cases on behalf of investors worldwide. He and his partner John G. Rich have won three of the most substantial customer arbitration awards ever rendered against Wall Street firms, including a $10 million FINRA award (and $5.9 million rejection of a counterclaim) in June 2016 in the Montfort v. C.L. King & Associates matter.

Mr. Intelisano’s securities clients have included ultra high net worth and high net worth individuals, family offices, hedge funds, funds of funds, endowments, non-profits and other institutions in claims against brokerage firms, investment and private banks, investment advisors, hedge funds and other financial companies.

In 2010, Mr. Intelisano, Mr. Rich and their firm won the Bayou v. Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing case: a $20.6 million FINRA arbitration award against Goldman Sachs related to the Bayou hedge fund fraud. The 18-day hearing generated a 100% recovery of the compensatory damages requested. It is the largest arbitration award ever rendered against Goldman, the third largest hedge fund-related customer arbitration award, and amongst the largest customer arbitration awards of any kind against a Wall Street firm. The award is also the first win in any court or arbitration forum by investors against a clearing or prime broker related to a hedge fund Ponzi scheme based upon fraudulent transfer theories. The award was confirmed by Judge Rakoff of the SDNY and upheld on appeal by the Second Circuit in 2012.

New York Super Lawyers, a publication of The New York Times Magazine, named Mr. Intelisano as one of New York’s top Securities Litigation attorneys every year since 2010.  Mr. Intelisano is a leading authority on securities and financial fraud and is a frequent television and print commentator. He has appeared on the television news programs the Today Show, Dateline NBC, Anderson Cooper 360, PBS’s Frontline, Closing Bell and various other CNBC shows, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox Business News programs regarding financial fraud. He has been quoted extensively by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, Business Week, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and other financial publications.

Other significant representations include in December 2009, Mr. Intelisano, Mr. Rich and their firm won a $3.4 million arbitration award against Bear Stearns related to the High Grade Structured Credit Strategies hedge funds which blew up in July 2007. It is the first and only reported victory by any High Grade investor and the award was rendered after the criminal acquittals of portfolio managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin. 

Mr. Intelisano and Mr. Rich pioneered the practice of representing groups of individuals and institutions in customer arbitrations related to hedge fund fraud. In 2011, Mr. Intelisano represented 13 investors from around the world who had lost over $40 million in a group arbitration related to the Bear Stearns High Grade Funds. He successfully represented numerous investors in group claims against investment advisors and banks for failing to do proper due diligence in their recommendation of Bernard Madoff-related feeder funds. He also represented numerous investors in substantial arbitrations against Citigroup related to the ASTA/MAT and Falcon hedge funds which settled.

The Firm resolved a $15 million dispute on behalf of a fuel and heating oil company against an international broker dealer related to the purchase of OTC derivatives, including swaps and options, pursuant to an ISDA agreement. The case was litigated in court in New York as well as in two FINRA arbitrations.

Starting in 2005, Mr. Intelisano’s firm represented investors who lost over $25 million in the $350 million Bayou hedge fund Ponzi scheme run by convicted fraudster Sam Israel. In 2007, the Firm settled a multi-million dollar group arbitration at the American Arbitration Association (AAA) related to Bayou versus a registered investment advisor for failing to do proper due diligence. In 2005, Mr. Intelisano obtained favorable settlements on behalf of clients who invested with Kevin Kelley, a Connecticut hedge fund owner and Ponzi scheme artist.

Mr. Intelisano and his partner Mr. Rich were co-trial counsel in the Engel, et al. v. Refco commodities Ponzi scheme case at the National Futures Association (NFA). The 100-day group arbitration on behalf of 13 individuals and family run businesses generated a $43 million award in 2001, which at the time was the largest collected arbitration award ever rendered on behalf of public customers against a brokerage firm.

In 2006, Mr. Intelisano published, Hedge Fund Fraud - The Future of Securities Arbitration? in Bloomberg Law Reports - Securities Arbitration. Said article predicted one year prior to the Bear Stearns High Grade Funds implosion that broker-dealers would roll out proprietary hedge funds that were bound to blow up in the future which would cause customer arbitrations against broker-dealers. He has written various articles for the Practicing Law Institute’s Securities Arbitration course handbooks, the seminal securities arbitration continuing legal education program. Mr. Intelisano is a frequent lecturer on securities and financial fraud at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York State Bar Association and other bar associations. He is also an arbitrator at FINRA and NFA.

Mr. Intelisano, Mr. Rich and Daniel E. Katz formed Rich, Intelisano & Katz, LLP in 2011. Mr. Intelisano and Mr. Rich were partners in Rich & Intelisano, LLP from 2003 through 2011. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Intelisano was of counsel to Bauman, Katz & Grill, LLP, where he headed the firm’s securities and employment arbitration and litigation practice. Along with his present partner, Mr. Katz, Mr. Intelisano handled NASD and NYSE securities arbitrations on behalf of investors and broker-dealers, and represented employees in employment disputes, SRO investigations and registration disputes. Prior to that, Mr. Intelisano was an associate at Eppenstein and Eppenstein where, along with his present partner Mr. Rich, he represented high net worth individuals in large and complex securities and commodities arbitrations. He began practicing securities and employment law with Mr. Katz at Pressman & Associates.

Mr. Intelisano received a B.A. in International Business from Lehigh University in 1991 and his JD from Brooklyn Law School in 1994. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1995, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York and Eastern District of New York in 1998, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011. He is a member of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.

The Op Ed page of the New York Times published Mr. Intelisano’s essay Ending the 212 Clique http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/01/opinion/ending-the-212-clique.html.  He presently has an essay in Worn Stories, Emily Spivack’s New York Times Best Seller of clothing-inspired narratives.  http://wornstories.com/the-book/

Mr. Intelisano lives in Brooklyn with his wife Stacey Reiss, a documentary film and television producer and director, and their two sons.


Sandra Dawn Grannum is a Partner in the Litigation Group at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP where she is co-chair of the Commercial Litigation Team and is a Managing Partner of the Firm.  She concentrates her practice on securities, broker/dealer arbitration, litigation, mediation and regulatory defense. Sandy has written and lectured widely on securities and ethics issues. She has developed compliance programs in response to Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, and is now assisting in preparing clients for SEC Regulation Best Interest and Interpretation RIA. She chairs the full-day PLI Securities Arbitration Seminar conducted annually in New York City and regularly speaks at the SIFMA C&L Annual Conference, ABA Conferences and on other CLE programs addressing securities and employment law. Sandy was one of 13 individuals on the FINRA Dispute Resolution Task Force. FINRA impaneled this group to collaborate and suggest strategies to enhance the transparency, impartiality, and efficiency of FINRA's securities dispute resolution forum for all participants. On December 16, 2015, the task force issued its recommendations detailed in the Final Report and Recommendations of the FINRA Dispute Resolution Task Force. Sandy earned her law degree from Harvard Law School and her bachelor’s degree from New York University. She began her career as a litigation associate at the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore before moving to Tenzer Greenblatt to practice securities litigation. Sandy moved in-house to be an Associate General Counsel handling securities litigation at PaineWebber (now UBS Financial Services) in 1997. In November 2001, she became Senior Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel in UBS’s Employment Law Unit.  In 2003, she formed her own firm, Davidson & Grannum, with a former PaineWebber/UBS colleague.  She joined Drinker in January 2016.


Steven B. Caruso, the Resident Partner in the New York City office of Maddox Hargett & Caruso, P.C. (www.investorprotection.com), concentrates his practice on the representation of individual, high net worth and institutional investors in securities arbitration and litigation proceedings.

Mr. Caruso is the Chairman and a public member of the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (“NAMC”) of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”); former Chairman of the Discovery Task Force Committee of FINRA; former member of the Nasdaq OMX BX Arbitration Committee; former member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation  (SIPC) Modernization Task Force; Director Emeritus and former President of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (“PIABA”); and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, in March 2012 and September 2010.

Among the publications that Mr. Caruso has authored are An Introduction to FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee, The Neutral Corner, FINRA Dispute Resolution, Vol. No. 1 (2018); Post-Settlement Expungements: An Investor Protection Problem that Continues to Wait for a FINRA Solution, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (September 2017); Non-Attorney Representatives – Do They Present a Clear & Present Danger to the Integrity of FINRA Arbitration, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York, N.Y. (May 2017); Arbitrator Disclosures: Requests for Additional Information, The Neutral Corner, FINRA Dispute Resolution, Vol. No. 4 (December 2016); Ethical Implications of the Phantom Designation of Expert Witnesses in FINRA Securities Arbitration Proceedings, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (September 2016); Definition of a FINRA Customer: To Be or Not To Be – That Is the Ultimate Question, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (July 2015); Discovery in FINRA Arbitration, The Neutral Corner, FINRA Dispute Resolution, Vol. No. 2 (2015); FINRA Six-Year Eligibility Rule 12206: The Purchase Date is Often Not the Triggering Occurrence or Event Giving Rise to the Claim, PIABA Bar Journal, Volume 20, No. 1 (September 2013); All Public Arbitrator Panels: A More Level Playing Field, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2013); Arbitrator Challenges Under the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes, Practicing Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2010); The Mandatory Industry Arbitrator: An Endangered Species on the Precipice of Extinction, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2009); Sunshine May be the Best Disinfectant for What Ails Securities Arbitration: A Discussion of the 2008 SICA Empirical Study of Fairness, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2008); Effective Closing Statements From the Perspective of Counsel for the Customer-Claimant, New York State Bar Association, Securities Arbitration 2007 (November 2007); Essential Principles for Honorable Arbitrators, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2007); Motions to Dismiss: A Predatory Tactic That Must be Extinguished, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York, N.Y. (June 2007); Ethical Standards for Securities Arbitrators: A Statistical Perspective of Potential Partiality (Bias), Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2006); Arbitrator Training in the Securities Dispute Arena, The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (January 2005); Discovery Objections Which are Irrelevant, Unduly Burdensome and are Reasonably Calculated to Lead to the Concealment of Admissible Evidence, New York State Bar Association, Securities Arbitration 2004 (October 2004); Model Arbitrator Instructions: Luxury or Emerging Necessity, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2004); Ethical Considerations in Settlement Agreements, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York, N.Y. (June 2004); Examination of the Adverse Broker: Unimpeachable Questions with an Internet Twist, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (August 2001); On-Line Trading: The New Frontier, Practising Law Institute, Securities Arbitration (July 1999); and NASD Arbitration Discovery Procedures : Knowing Your Customer From the Securities Professional Perspective, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Committee on Securities Litigation (August 1995).


Mr. Bakhtiari represents clients in securities disputes before FINRA (NASD, NYSE), state and federal courts. He served on the Board of Directors of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) from 2008 to 2013 and served as President for the 2011 to 2012 term. PIABA is a nationwide organization of securities lawyers that represent investors in disputes with the financial service industry.

In June 2013, Mr. Bakhtiari was named Chairman of the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (“NAMC”) of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The NAMC is an advisory group that makes recommendations on rules, regulations and procedures governing FINRA arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution. In June 2011, Mr. Bakhtiari was nominated to serve as a public member of the Nasdaq OMX BX Arbitration Committee, which is the advisory group that provides recommendations on rules, regulations and procedures governing arbitrations, mediations and dispute resolution for the Nasdaq and Boston Stock Exchanges. In 2009, Mr. Bakhtiari was nominated to serve as a public member of the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee of FINRA.

Mr. Bakhtiari served on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) and New York City Bar Association's presentation of Securities Arbitration and Mediation Hot Topics (2012). Mr. Bakhtiari is a past member of the board of editors, managing editor of the PIABA Bar Journal and edited the “Recent Arbitration Awards” column covering significant NASD and NYSE arbitration awards.

Mr. Bakhtiari has spoken at the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association annual meeting, California mid-year meeting, authored and co-authored several articles. He was a teaching assistant and extern to the Honorable James N. Barr, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California and presently serves as a FINRA securities arbitrator.

In addressing investors right's issues, Mr. Bakhtiari has been quoted by the press in publications that include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Dow Jones Business News, NY Post, Los Angeles Business Journal, The American Banker and Cleveland Plains Dealer.

Mr. Bakhtiari was recognized from 2014 to 2019 as a Southern California Super Lawyer. Between 2005 and 2013 he was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer Rising Star.


Mr. Cottone is a member of the mediation and commercial and real estate arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), and the arbitration and mediation panels of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE). He also has been certified by the International Mediation Institute at The Hague.

He has been an arbitrator since 1977 when he was first qualified by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD, now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).  He has been mediating for over twenty years both privately and for ADR organizations. In the mid-nineties he chaired the Sub-committee of the NASD National Arbitration Committee that developed the mediation rules and procedures for the securities industry. He subsequently chaired the renamed National Arbitration and Mediation Committee from 1993-1997. He served on the national FINRA DR Task Force in 2014-15 that made over fifty recommendations for change in policies and procedures.

Mr. Cottone is an author, lecturer and trainer in dispute resolution. He was an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the governing Council of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section from 2006 to 2015, is a member of the faculties of both the ABA Mediation and Arbitration Institutes, and was Co-Chair of the Arbitration Institute in 2016 and 2017.  He is a member of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators, and the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators; and a Director of the Philadelphia Chapter of ACR, and the Good Sheperd Mediation Program, the only community mediation program in Philadelphia. He is a 1961 graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, and 1966 graduate of the New York University School of Law.


Teresa J. Verges joined the University of Miami School of Law faculty in the fall of 2011. She is the founding director of Miami Law’s Investor Rights Clinic, which launched in January 2012. The Clinic represents investors who have claims against their brokers in arbitration proceedings before FINRA, but whose claims are too small for them to be able to find legal representation.

Professor Verges supervises the students at the Clinic and teaches a seminar on the substantive law of securities arbitration, broker-dealer regulation, professional responsibility and practical skills allowing the students to undertake all aspects of client representation.

Prior to joining the School of Law’s faculty, Professor Verges served as Assistant Director of Enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission at the Miami Regional Office, where she led investigations of potential violations of the federal securities laws, including cases involving financial fraud, pay-to-play and municipal securities offerings, market manipulation, insider trading, offering fraud, violations by broker-dealers and investment advisers, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Before her appointment as Assistant Director, Professor Verges served as Regional Trial Counsel, where she supervised litigation of civil injunctive actions and administrative proceedings instituted by the SEC’s Miami Office.

While at the Commission, Professor Verges led the investigative or litigation teams on some of the most significant cases brought by the SEC, and received awards and recognition for her  work, including the SEC’s 2011 Arthur F. Matthews Award.  Ms. Verges has been recognized as one of “The Top Government Attorneys” in South Florida Business Guide, 2004-2009 is a 2009 Recipient of noted “Florida Legal Elite Government Attorney” in Florida Trend. Ms. Verges was also selected for Women of Color Magazine’s 2010 Top Women in Finance.

Prior to joining the Commission in 1998, Ms. Verges was in private practice for 8 years in Chicago and Miami.  Ms. Verges has an undergraduate degree from Elmhurst College (1985) and a law degree with highest honors from DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois (1989).

Ms. Verges has published articles and participated on panels discussing securities arbitration, SEC investigations and enforcement, regulation of financial intermediaries and ethical issues in securities litigation and arbitration. She served on FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee from 2014-2018.


Dan Fisher currently works as a Branch Chief in the Office of Chief Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets.  In this capacity, Dan’s responsibilities relate to broker-dealer sales practices, including suitability, supervision, and securities arbitration, as well as broker-dealer status issues.  Prior to this role, Dan was Manager of Legal and Compliance for Arrowstreet Capital Management, a registered investment adviser to institutional investors, and the Deputy General Counsel of Sowood Capital Management, an investment adviser to a multi-strategy hedge fund.  Dan earned his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. from Brandeis University.


Ellen Slipp is Managing Director and Head of Litigation for The Citi Private Bank.  In that role she manages litigation globally including: securities litigation, employment law claims, internal investigations, ethics inquiries etc.   Prior to January 2005, she spent 11 years at the Citigroup Corporate and Investment Bank trying sales practice arbitrations, employment arbitrations and representing the company and individual employees in regulatory inquiries.  Ellen speaks at many industry conferences in addition to SIFMA, 85 Broads and various PLI seminars.  She currently sits on the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee of FINRA and is an industry arbitrator at FINRA.  Before joining Citigroup, she was an Assistant District Attorney both at the Kings County District Attorney's Office and at the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in Manhattan. She graduated from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA and received her BA from Union College in Schenectady, NY.


Margo Hassan is an Associate Chief Counsel, FINRA Office of Dispute Resolution. Ms. Hassan began her career in 1987 as an Arbitration Counsel at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). She spent 16 years in various positions in NYSE's Market Surveillance Division, serving for a number of years as a Regulatory Development Counsel responsible for drafting rules and policies, and as a Surveillance Director overseeing reviews of Trading Floor members and other market professionals.  In 2006, Ms. Hassan became a Chief Arbitration Counsel for NYSE Dispute Resolution responsible for drafting rules and policies. In 2007, Ms. Hassan joined FINRA's Office of the Chief Counsel, where, among other duties, she drafts rule proposals for review by the FINRA Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She is a graduate of Binghamton University and St. John's University School of Law. Ms. Hassan is a member of the New York Bar.


Jeff is a founding shareholder of Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. He is an AV-rated lawyer who focuses his practice on securities arbitration and plaintiff-side class action litigation. He also represents securities-industry professionals in U-4, U-5, compensation, and promissory note disputes. Jeff routinely has been named a “Top Lawyer” by the South Florida Legal Guide and has been named a Top Rated Lawyer in Southern California by ALM (formerly American Lawyer Media). From 2012 through 2015, he served on the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC), an advisory committee that makes recommendations and drafts rules, regulations, and procedures governing FINRA arbitration. Jeff has extensive experience handling FINRA, NYSE, and AAA securities arbitration matters. He has authored a number of articles on stockbroker misconduct issues and often serves as a guest lecturer to investor groups, accountants, and other professionals regarding securities fraud and stockbroker misconduct.


Mr. Andrichik developed the first full-scale mediation program in the securities industry, and is responsible for expanding FINRA's dispute resolution services internationally. He began his career in 1980 in the Surveillance and Anti-Fraud Divisions of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD). Between 1985 and 1990, he opened and managed the Midwest Regional Arbitration Office for the NASD. In 1990 he became the Deputy Director of the Arbitration Department, responsible for the operation of the largest dispute resolution forum in the securities industry. He has spoken extensively on securities arbitration and mediation, conducted arbitrator and mediator training seminars around the country, and published several articles on securities dispute resolution. Mr. Andrichik serves on FINRA's Diversity Leadership Council. He earned his degree in Finance from the University of Illinois and his law degree from Loyola University in Chicago.