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DEAN WITTER: NOT REQUIRED TO PLAY BY THE RULES? IS LITIGATION TERRORISM CONDONED?

 DEAN WITTER: NOT REQUIRED TO PLAY BY THE RULES?
 IS LITIGATION TERRORISM CONDONED?
 LARGO, Fla., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The attorney for an 83-year- old widower and a 70-year-old retiree suffering from terminal cancer filed a complaint with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. accusing Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. of litigation terrorism. His clients were former customers of Dean Witter who filed arbitration claims alleging securities law violations related to the unsuitable and fraudulent sale of certain limited partnerships and a continuing course of misleading information about the true value of the investments.
 In each case Dean Witter submitted to the arbitration jurisdiction of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), a securities industry "self regulatory organization" (SRO) which regulates the activities of most broker-dealers and stockbrokers in the U.S. Dean Witter then directly violated the NASD rules by filing suits in Florida courts.
 The claimants are represented by Allan J. Fedor, Esq. of Fedor & Fedor in Largo, Fla., who represents claimants in securities arbitration and litigation matters. In his letter, Fedor states: "Dean Witter's conduct is pure litigation terrorism. Like a bad loser and a bully, Dean Witter is deliberately forcing (numerous) claimants into two separate forums simultaneously, significantly adding to the expense of getting the claims to a final determination, and intentionally and substantially delaying the arbitration process to the detriment of both the claimant and the NASD."
 The NASD Code of Arbitration Procedure has very clear rules which preclude the filing of other suits when "public customers" request mandatory arbitration:
 Sec. 6. No party shall, during the arbitration of any matter,
 prosecute or commence any suit, action, or proceeding against any
 other party touching upon any of the matters referred to
 arbitration pursuant to this Code.
 Sec. 12.(a) Any dispute, claim, or controversy eligible for
 submission under Part I of this Code between a customer and a
 member and/or associated person arising in connection with the
 business of such member or in connection with the activities of
 such associated persons shall be arbitrated under this Code, as
 provided by any duly executed and enforceable agreement or upon
 the demand of the customer.
 Fedor's letter cites to at least 13 known Florida cases where Dean Witter has placed itself above complying with the NASD rules. He asks the NASD to suspend all of Dean Witter's Florida operations and to consider expelling it from the NASD until it complies with the rules.
 Fedor adds: "If this is the type of shabby treatment Dean Witter customers can expect if they ever have a complaint, they should seriously reconsider who they are dealing with. I am sure that other Wall Street powerhouses who do abide by the NASD rules would be happy to have them as customers."
 -0- 5/20/92
 /CONTACT: J. Camille Ayles of Fedor & Fedor, 813-581-6100/ CO: Fedor & Fedor; Dean Witter ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:


SS-XX -- FL008 -- 2344 05/20/92 13:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 20, 1992
Words:491
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