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What Are the Options for a Registered Representative to Remove a Frivolous Complaint?

As a registered representative, your professional reputation is paramount. Unfortunately, frivolous complaints can tarnish your record, affecting your career and client relationships. Understanding your options for removing such complaints is crucial. At Bakhtiari & Harrison, we are here to guide you through this complex process, including navigating FINRA Rule 2080 and recent changes in expungement procedures. 

Expungement Arbitration 

One of the primary methods to remove a frivolous complaint is through expungement arbitration. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) allows registered representatives to seek expungement if they believe a complaint is without merit. This process involves several key steps and is governed by FINRA Rule 2080, which requires a detailed showing that the complaint is factually impossible, clearly erroneous, or false. 

1.              Filing a Request: You must file a request for expungement through FINRA’s arbitration process. This request should detail why the complaint is frivolous and provide supporting evidence. 

2.              Arbitration Hearing: An arbitration panel will review your request and hear evidence from both parties. This hearing is crucial as it determines whether the complaint should be expunged from your record. 

3.              Arbitration Award: If the arbitration panel finds in your favor, they will issue an award recommending expungement. 

Recent Changes in Expungement Rules 

FINRA implemented significant changes to the expungement process, affecting the timeframe and the arbitration panel structure: 

1.              Timeframe for Filing: Registered representatives now have a specific timeframe within which to file an expungement claim. Claims must be filed within three years of the date the complaint was reported in the CRD system, ensuring timely resolution of disputes. 

2.              Arbitration Panel Composition: The new rules require that expungement cases be heard by a three-person panel of arbitrators, rather than a single arbitrator. This change aims to enhance the fairness and thoroughness of the expungement process. 

Confirming the Award in State Court 

Securing an arbitration award is a significant step, but it is not the final one. To remove the disclosure from your Central Registration Depository (CRD) and BrokerCheck, you must confirm the award in a state court. This process involves: 

1.              Filing a Petition: You must file a petition in a state court to confirm the arbitration award. This legal step ensures that the expungement recommendation is enforced. 

2.              Court Review: The state court will review the arbitration award and, if it finds no issues, will confirm the expungement. 

3.              Updating Records: Once the court confirms the award, FINRA will update your CRD and BrokerCheck records, removing the frivolous complaint. 

Why Contact Bakhtiari & Harrison? 

Navigating the expungement process requires legal expertise and a thorough understanding of FINRA’s regulations. Bakhtiari & Harrison specializes in helping registered representatives clear their records of frivolous complaints. Here’s why you should contact us: 

1.              Experience: Our firm has extensive experience in expunging customer complaints. We understand the nuances of the arbitration process and have a proven track record of successful expungements. 

2.              Expertise: We are well-versed in FINRA’s rules, including Rule 2080, and state court procedures, ensuring that your case is handled with the highest level of competence. 

3.              Personalized Service: We offer personalized legal support tailored to your unique situation, providing guidance every step of the way. 

4.              Peace of Mind: With Bakhtiari & Harrison by your side, you can focus on your career while we handle the complexities of the expungement process. 


A frivolous complaint can have serious implications for your professional reputation. Understanding your options for removing such complaints and working with experienced legal counsel is essential. At Bakhtiari & Harrison, we are dedicated to helping you protect your career and maintain your good standing in the financial industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in expunging frivolous complaints from your record. 

For more information, visit our website at or call us at (310) 499-4732 to schedule a consultation. Let us help you safeguard your professional future.