Robert Stein is an attorney who also acts as a FINRA arbitrator. He was the chair of a panel of three arbitrators during an arbitration in which my husband and I, along with another couple, were the plaintiffs, in February and March of 2012. During the proceedings, and in violation of FINRA rules, Mr. Stein allowed the other party to present evidence that they had failed to produce during the discovery process, in spite of it being specifically requested of them, as this evidence was central to the case. Our attorney objected to the presentation of this evidence at the hearing, since it had not been presented to us during the discovery process, but Mr. Stein overruled this objection. Because our side had been unaware of either the content or the existence of this key evidence that was central to the case before the hearing, we were unable to prepare a rebuttal against it and thus were unjustly disadvantaged.
FINRA has very strict rules regarding the obligations of each party during the discovery process. Through his actions, Mr. Stein violated FINRA rules and thus deprived us of the protection usually afforded FINRA customers to guarantee them a fair hearing. I have a sworn written testimony from our attorney describing the incident and declaring that, in his opinion, this resulted in an unfair hearing to us, the plaintiffs. I also have a tape recording of the proceedings in which the incident can be clearly heard. I would be happy to share these proofs with anyone requesting it.