On February 26, 2015, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced proposed bill H.R. 1098 titled the Investor Choice Act (the “ICA”). The ICA is the latest attempt to statutorily prohibit the enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration provisions and to provide investors with the ability to select the forum (either arbitration or the court) to resolve their disputes with the brokerage firms. Further, under the ICA, investors will no longer be required to commence their actions in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) forum.
As expected, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (“PIABA”) strongly supports the passage of the ICA on the basis that it “is an important and vital step to restoring investor choice and confidence in the fairness of the markets.”
A link to the proposed ICA can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr1098/BILLS-114hr1098ih.pdf