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As an attorney who specializes in representing investors in cases against brokerage firms, I agree with Michael Schroeder that "Wall Street should stop playing the bully" (Finance, Dec. 20). However, I disagree that nonattorney firms should be allowed to assist claimants.

Securities arbitration is not child's play, and proper representation of investors requires not only familiarity with the brokerage business but also a high level of legal sophistication. The nonattorney services are engaged in the unlawful practice of law, are not governed by ethical rules, and are not subject to supervision by any regulatory body.

Investors who have suffered from mishandling of their accounts may have an equally unhappy experience if their legal rights are handled by amateurs.

David E. Shellenberger


Your commentary represented an infectious distortion of the truth.

In an environment where, all too often, customers are taught to equate money lost with misconduct, revisions to the system are necessary to restrain frivolous and abusive claims.

Your commentary contends that the industry's proposals "amount to a more efficient shovel brigade for the elephant parade." But as long as the position of the media continues to perpetuate the notion that the customer is always the victim, the media will continue to be relegated to a role somewhere between the elephant and the shovel.

Steven Caruso

Darien, Conn.

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