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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change and Amendments No. 1 and No. 2 by the International Securities Exchange LLC Relating to its Arbitration Program

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Start Preamble July 18, 2001.

Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on November 20, 2000, the International Securities Exchange LLC (the “Exchange” or the “ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change. On March 5, 2001, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 thereto,[3] and on July 16 2001, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 thereto,[4] as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the ISE. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

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I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange is proposing to amend Chapter 18, Arbitration, of the ISE Rules. Specifically, the ISE proposes to repeal Rules 1800 through 1835 and create new Rule 1800, which will state that the NASD Code of Arbitration, as the same may be in effect from time to time, shall govern Exchange arbitrations. The proposed rule also states that the Exchange shall retain jurisdiction over its members for failure to honor arbitration awards and any right, action or determination by the Exchange which it would otherwise be authorized to adopt, administer or enforce is in no way limited or precluded by incorporation of the NASD Code of Arbitration. Proposed new language is in italics.

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CHAPTER 18

Arbitration

[Rules 1800—1835 repealed entirely]

Rule 1800. Arbitration

(a) General. The 10000 Series of the NASD Manual (“NASD Code of Arbitration”), as the same may be in effect from time to time, shall govern Exchange arbitrations except as may be specified in this Rule 1800. Definitions in the NASD Code of Arbitration shall have the same meaning as that prescribed herein, and procedures contained in the NASD Code of Arbitration shall have the same applications as toward Exchange arbitrations.

(b) Jurisdiction. Any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or in connection with the business of any member of the Exchange, or arising out of the employment or termination of employment of associated persons(s) with any member may be arbitrated under this Rule 1800 except that (1) a dispute, claim, or controversy alleging employment discrimination (including a sexual harassment claim) in violation of a statute may only be arbitrated if the parties have agreed to arbitrate it after the dispute arose; and (2) any type of dispute, claim, or controversy that is not permitted to be arbitrated under the NASD Code of Arbitration, such as class action claims, shall not be eligible for arbitration under this Rule 1800.

(c) Predispute Arbitration Agreements. The requirements of NASD Rule IM-3110(f) shall apply to predispute arbitration agreements between Members and their customers.

(d) Referrals. If any material or communications related to the proceeding, that the arbitrator has reason to believe may constitute a violation of the Exchange's Rules or the federal securities laws, the arbitrator may initiate a referral of the matter to the Exchange for disciplinary investigation; provided, however, that any such referral should only be initiated by an arbitrator after the matter before him has been settled or otherwise disposed of, or after an award finally disposing of the matter has been rendered pursuant to Rule 10330 of the NASD Code of Arbitration.

(e) Payment of Awards. Any Member, or person associated with a Member, who fails to honor an award of arbitrators appointed in accordance with the Rules in this Chapter 18 shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with Chapter 16 (Discipline).

(f) Other Exchange Actions. The submission of any matter to arbitration under this Chapter shall in no way limit or preclude any right, action or determination by the Exchange which it would otherwise be authorized to adopt, administer or enforce.

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II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, the ISE included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The ISE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The Exchange has contracted with NASD Regulation to perform arbitrations under ISE's rules. Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to eliminate all of the arbitration rules currently contained in Chapter 18 of the ISE Rules and incorporate the NASD Code of Arbitration by reference.[5] The proposed rule also specifies that potential violations of ISE rules identified during an arbitration hearing may be referred to the ISE for investigation, and that disciplinary action may be brought by the ISE as a result thereof. Finally, a member or person associated with a member will be subject to discipline by the ISE if it fails to honor an award made as a result of an arbitration initiated under ISE Rules.[6]

2. Statutory Basis

The ISE believes that the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with the provisions of section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[7] which requires that an exchange have rules that are designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transaction in securities, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The ISE does not believe that the proposed rule change, as amended, will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

Written comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the ISE consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve the proposed rule change, as amended, or

(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change, as amended, should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change, as amended is consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the Start Printed Page 39071proposed rule change, as amended, between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the ISE. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-ISE-00-17 and should be submitted by August 16, 2001.

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For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[8]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

3.  See Letter from Katherine Simmons, Vice President and Associate General counsel, ISE, to Nancy J. Sanow, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, dated March 5, 2001 (“Amendment No. 1”). In Amendment No. 1, the ISE added paragraphs (a) and (b), which are jurisdictional provisions currently contained in ISE rule 1800, to the proposed rule text.

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4.  See Letter from Jennifer M. Lamie, Assistant General Counsel, ISE, to Nancy J. Sanow, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, dated July 16, 2001 (“Amendment No. 2”). Amendment No. 2 replaced the initial filing and Amendment No. 1 in their entirety. In Amendment No. 2, the ISE made minor changes to the order of the subsections under ISE Rule 1800, amended the language of its proposed jurisdictional provisions, and added subsection (c), which governs predispute arbitration agreements.

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5.  The ISE represents that, as of this date, no cases have been opened under the Exchange's existing arbitration rules.

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6.  NASDR performs arbitrations for the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. See Exchange Act Release 40517 (October 1, 1998), 63 FR 54177 (October 8, 2000). Because there have not been any arbitrations initiated under ISE rules, the proposed rule does not contain language found in the Phlx rules to address pending arbitrations.

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[FR Doc. 01-18643 Filed 7-25-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M