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Client Bulletin: FINRA Aims to Simplify Arbitration Process

By Client Bulletins, Press Release

FINRA is seeking to amend the Customer and Industry codes to provide for optional streamlined arbitration procedures in matters involving claims of $50,000 or less.

As currently constituted, these FINRA claims are determined (1) based on the parties’ pleadings and submitted materials, or (2) at the request of a claimant, through a full, in person hearing that is not limited in duration and permits cross examination. FINRA determined, however, that parties are often unhappy with arbitration on the papers and the cost associated with a full hearing, along with the prospect of cross examination, may dissuade certain claimants from requesting a hearing.

FINRA is consequently seeking to implement a third arbitration option that falls between the current choices. This proposed intermediate process would generally (1) be held over the telephone, (2) limit claimants and respondents to two hours each to present their case and 30 minutes for rebuttals and closings, (3) limit the proceedings to two hearing sessions in a single day, exclusive of prehearing conferences, (4) remove the opportunity for cross examination, and (5) prevent parties from calling opposing parties as witnesses. Arbitrators would still be permitted to question witnesses and the ability to choose this intermediate process would rest with the claimant.

FINRA submitted the proposed rule change to the SEC in January 2018 for regulatory approval. Should the SEC approve the proposal, FINRA would announce the effective date of the change in a Regulatory Notice to be published not more than 120 days after the approval and the effective date would be no later than 60 days thereafter.  The proposed rule change is available on the link below.

Related Documents
Proposed Rule Change

Bill Chittenden Again Named “Super Lawyer” by Chicago Magazine (2018)

By News Flash Archives, Press Release

Chittenden, Murday & Novotny LLC proudly announces that Law & Politics Magazine and the publishers of Chicago Magazine have again named Bill Chittenden a “Super Lawyer” in Business Litigation in 2018. The process began with thousands of ballots sent to attorneys across the State of Illinois asking them to nominate the best lawyers they had “personally observed.” A panel of recognized top lawyers in the commercial/business litigation practice area was assembled to review the nominations and evaluation criteria. Through this process, the panel identified the nominees with the highest scores. The attorneys chosen represent the top 5% of attorneys in the State of Illinois.

Client Bulletin: Sexual Harassment Policies and Training Required for Illinois Lobbyists in 2018

By Client Bulletins, Press Release

Companies that are, or that employ, registered Illinois lobbyists will soon be required to comply with a new law that requires implementation of sexual harassment policies and a specific training regimen. Effective January 1, 2018, lobbyists and companies that employ or contract with lobbyists must comply with new Section 4.7 of the Lobbyist Registration Act, which requires annual completion of a sexual harassment training program provided by the Secretary of State and implementation of a written sexual harassment policy.  Companies should ensure that any of their employees who are registered as lobbyists in Illinois comply with the annual sexual harassment training program and, upon registration or renewal, confirm to the Secretary of State that their sexual harassment policy meets the minimum requirements under the statute.

While not specifically required by the terms of Section 4.7, companies who retain independent contractors as lobbyists may want to confirm that their lobbyist contractors have complied with the training requirement. For more information, you can download the complete Bulletin here.

CMN Secures Decertification of TCPA Class Action

By News Flash Archives, Press Release

CMN lawyers moved to decertify the class in a lawsuit alleging the Firm’s health insurance client violated the TCPA by sending faxes to its contracted agents without the specific opt-out notice required by an FCC regulation. CMN successfully petitioned the FCC for a waiver of that regulation and, on August 28th, federal Judge Robert Blakey granted the Motion to Decertify. He agreed that the FCC waiver, as well as the D.C. Circuit’s recent holding in Bais Yaakov v. FCC that the opt-out regulation was invalid as applied to solicited faxes, made each class member’s consent to receive the faxes a critical and predominant individual issue that effectively precluded resolution of the litigation as a class action. The Opinion is available on the link below.

Related Documents

CMN Attorneys Contribute to DRI’s New Life Insurance Compendium

By Press Release, Publications Archives

CMN attorneys Julie F. Wall, Craig M. Bargher, and Matthew H. Bunn recently authored the Illinois and Indiana chapters of the Defense Research Institute’s new life insurance book, “The Law of Life Insurance, Key Issues in Each State.”  The book is a compendium of the major issues in life insurance law for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  It is an excellent resource for life insurance practitioners, particularly those with matters in multiple states.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book or would like more information, please feel free to contact any of the authors directly, or click here.

News Flash-DRI Book-The Law of Life Ins-JFW-061917

CMN Attorneys Author Long-Term Care Insurance Law Treatise

By Press Release, Publications Archives

CMN members William A. Chittenden, Joseph R. Jeffery and Jennifer S. Stegmaier recently co-authored the Chapter on Long-Term Care Insurance Law published in Appleman’s Treatise on Insurance Law.  The treatise chapter serves as a primer on long-term care insurance products and covers a wide range of litigation and regulatory issues involving long-term care insurance.  See, William A. Chittenden, III, Joseph R. Jeffery, Jennifer S. Stegmaier, New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, Chp. 93A Long-Term Care Insurance (LexisNexis).  If interested in obtaining a copy or for more information, please feel free to contact any of the authors directly.