With respect to Anatoly's post about a biased CFTC judge, one should note that almost all brokerage contracts that I have signed including my cash bond agreements call for arbitration at the NYSE. These judges, all of whose average age is 95, are selected by the NYSE based on how often they rule in favor of the Broker, I believe. I had a terrible experience in my arbitration case against them where I served as my own council and then I realized the poignancy of the defendant's warning to me when he urged me to settle: "remember, the NYSE itself is going to arbitrate this." A typical moment at the trial came when I noticed the defendant holding a rolled up wad of paper in my adversaries pocket when I questioned him. I asked the judges to kindly let me and the court see those papers as I suspected it had all the answers that the defendant was supposed to give to my questions as he testified. They refused saying, "we all know that defendants are prepped before testifying.

One of the greatest mistakes I made in business among hundreds of others was not to settle cases before I sued the defendant in my early days. Time and time again I turned down offers of 70% and even once 95% of my claim, only to spend more on legal fees and in some cases ending up receiving nothing at all as the final decision. Regrettably when I started in business I felt that it was mandatory for all parties to be honest and that it was wrongful rather than normal to be chiseled out of a fee or some such. My training in athletics, where I learned after 4 years never to appeal a referees decision, and from Artie where he taught me always to take the judge out for Chinese food, should have been paramount.

In my favor, I must say that I won many a squash match by not dissipating my energy arguing with the referee while my opponent fumed. I still have not learned that lesson as well as I should have in the law courts of life.

Anatoly Veltman shared:

CFTC judge claims colleague issued biased rulings


Published 10/14/2010

Futures Magazine

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Administrative Law Judge George H. Painter made serious allegations regarding fellow CFTC judge Bruce Levine in announcing his retirement.

In a notice sent to complainants and their attorneys, Judge Painter claims that Levine told him that he had promised former CFTC Chair Wendy Gramm "that he would never rule in a complainants favor". Painter's notice goes on to say, "A review of his rulings will confirm that he has fulfilled his vow."

In the notice Painter recommends the CFTC request the services of an administrative law judge to be detailed to the Commission from another regulatory agency to handle the remain cases on his docket. Painter writes, "If I simply announced my intention to retire, the seven reparation cases on my docket would be reassigned to the only other administrative law judge at the Commission, Judge Levine. This I could not do in good conscience."

The judge also attached a December 2000 Wall Street Journal story by Michael Schroeder titled, "If you got a beef with a futures broker, This Judge Isn't for You—In Eight Years at the CFTC, Levine Has Never Ruled In Favor of an Investor" that details Levine's penchant for favoring brokers over investors seeking reparations.

An attorney who handles futures litigation says that the notice "will freeze [the seven cases currently in Painter's docket] for a considerable amount of time.


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