Investor Attys Can't Access SEC's Audits Of FINRA

Law360, New York (March 14, 2013, 8:14 PM EDT) -- A Washington federal judge Thursday shielded the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from a Freedom of Information Act suit brought by investors' attorneys, saying a nongovernmental regulator's records can remain under wraps because Congress appears to have inadvertently allowed for sweeping confidentiality.

The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, which sued to access SEC audits of the nonprofit Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's arbitrator selection process, isn't entitled to the records because FOIA's so-called Exemption 8 grants broad authority to withhold documents “related to” oversight of financial institutions,...
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