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In the event of any claim, controversy or alleged dispute between you, as an issuer; subscriber or user of Gee Funding portal who invests in an offering appearing on the Gee Funding, Inc., and or GeeFunding.com, its members or affiliates (Portal) (collectively the "Dispute"), you hereby agree that this Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clause governs your claim, controversy or alleged dispute between yourself and Gee Funding Portal. You agree to attempt in good faith to amicably resolve any Dispute at least thirty (30) days before instituting any legal proceeding. Each party agrees to submit any Dispute for resolution by final binding arbitration after serving written notice, which notice shall set forth in detail the controversy, question, claim or alleged breach along with your attempt to resolve such Dispute. Upon such notice and attempt to resolve, the party may then commence an arbitration proceeding pursuant to the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to be held in Dallas, Texas, before a panel of arbitrators to be selected in accordance to FINRA’s selection process.

In any arbitration and subject to the ultimate discretion of the panel of arbitrators, except to the extent that these terms either limits or contradict FINRA rules, each side will:

A - Be limited to a maximum of one (1) day of argument (including rebuttal), and the parties agree in good faith to minimize discovery burdens (e.g. confine the scope to actual areas in dispute and limit the topics and number of pages on which information is requested to matters directly relevant).

B - The decision(s) of the panel of arbitrators shall be final and binding and may not be appealed to any court of competent jurisdiction, or otherwise, except upon claim of fraud or corruption as by law provided, provided, however, that implementation of such decision(s) shall in no way be delayed or otherwise impaired pending the outcome of any such appeal. Judgment upon the award rendered in such arbitration may be entered by any court having jurisdiction thereof.

C - You agree that all Disputes will be limited between you, individually, and Gee Funding Portal.

D - To the full extent allowable by law, you agree that no arbitration proceeding, or other dispute resolution proceeding shall be joined with any other party or decided on a class-action basis.

E - You agree that the following matters shall not, at the election of Gee Funding Portal, be subject to binding arbitration: (1) any Dispute related to or arising from allegations of criminal activity; (2) any Disputes concerning Gee Funding Portal's intellectual property rights; and (3) any claim for injunctive relief.

F - You agree that all arbitration proceedings will take place in Dallas, Texas, United States of America. Any Dispute not subject to arbitration shall be decided by a court of competent jurisdiction within Dallas, Texas. Each party hereby waives any claim that such venue is improper or inconvenient, except to the extent that these terms either limit or contradict FINRA rules.

By agreeing to this Pre-Dispute arbitration agreement, you are subject to the following:

All parties to this agreement are giving up the right to sue each other in court, including the right to a trial by jury, except as provided by FINRA rules.

Arbitration awards are generally final and binding; a party's ability to have a court reverse or modify an arbitration award is very limited.

The ability of the parties to obtain documents, witness statements and other discovery is generally more limited in arbitration than in court proceedings.

The arbitrators do not have to explain the reason(s) for their award unless, in an eligible case, a joint request for an explained decision has been submitted by all parties to the panel at least 20 days prior to the first scheduled hearing date.

The panel of arbitrators may include a minority of arbitrators who were or are affiliated with the securities industry.

The rules of some arbitration forums may impose time limits for bringing a claim in arbitration. In some cases, a claim that is ineligible for arbitration may be brought in court.

The rules of the arbitration forum in which the claim is filed, and any amendments hereto, shall be incorporated into this arbitration agreement.

If you or Gee Funding, Inc., and or Gee Funding Portal file a complaint in court against the other party that contains claims that are subject to arbitration pursuant to this Pre-Dispute arbitration agreement between yourself and the Portal, you and the Portal agree that this matter may be removed from the court to FINRA for arbitration of the claims that are subject to arbitration under this Pre-Dispute Arbitration agreement.

No party to this agreement shall bring a putative or certified class action to arbitration, nor seek to enforce this Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement against any person who has initiated in court a putative class action; or who is a member of a putative class who has not opted out of the class with respect to any claims encompassed by the putative class action until: (i) the class certification is denied; or (ii) the class is decertified; or (iii) the investor is excluded from the class by the court. Such forbearance to enforce the agreement to arbitrate shall not constitute a waiver of any rights under this agreement except to the extent stated herein.

The parties understand and agree that this is a Pre-Dispute arbitration agreement that may limit your legal rights as set forth above. A copy of this agreement will be provided to you by email. The Gee Funding Portal shall provide you with information on how to contact FINRA Arbitration or obtain the rules of a FINRA arbitration upon your request.

Investigations
NASD (now known as FINRA) Rule IM-3110 defines a "complaint" as any written statement of a customer (or person acting on behalf of a customer) alleging a grievance in connection with the solicitation or execution of any securities transaction or the disposition of the customers' securities or funds. Each OSJ must maintain a record of all written complaints as well as actions taken because of the complaints.

NASD (FINRA) Rule 8000 requires that member firms keep a current copy of the FINRA Manual readily accessible for customers to review. It also gives FINRA the right to require any registered person to provide information regarding an investigation, complaint or other proceeding orally, in writing, or electronically, and to testify under oath. It also has the right to inspect and copy books, records or accounts of the member or person in respect to such a proceeding.

Code of Procedure
NASD (FINRA) Rule 9000 details the Code of Procedure that must be followed if FINRA determines that a customer complaint should be investigated. The Department of Enforcement issues a formal complaint and names a Hearing Officer to preside over the proceeding. The Hearing Officer also appoints panelists (who are all from the securities industry) to serve as a jury.

The registered person (respondent) must respond to the complaint in writing within 25 days of receipt. If no response is made, a second notice is sent that must be answered within 14 days. Failure to respond to this second notice results in a default guilty decision.

When the respondent answers the complaint, he or she may request a hearing, which is held before the Hearing Officer and the two panelists. A pre-hearing conference may be requested and will be scheduled within 21 days of the request. The hearing itself is conducted much like a trial. Witnesses are called to testify and may be cross-examined, evidence is introduced, etc. The panel renders a decision within 60 days of the hearing.

Should a registered person be found guilty, certain sanctions may be imposed. Sanctions may include one or more of the following:

  • Fine
  • Censure
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Barring the member from association with any other members

If suspension is imposed, the registered person may not continue to work for a member firm in any capacity. During this time, the member may not pay the registered person any salary, commission or other income that could have been earned during the suspension. However, they may pay out such income during the suspension that was earned prior to the suspension.

When sanctions are made, the effective date is specified by the Hearing Officer, but may be no sooner than 30 days after the written decision is handed down. Sanctions may be appealed within 25 days of the decision. If the appeal is not granted, the appealing party may request that the case be taken to the SEC and, finally, the federal court system.

Alternatives
One option available to the respondent is to make an offer of settlement. To be considered, the offer must meet the following criteria:

  • The offer must be in writing.
  • It must include the specific rule or law that the respondent violated.
  • It must describe the acts in which the respondent engaged.
  • It must include a statement agreeing to the findings of fact in the complaint.
  • It must propose a sanction within the FINRA guidelines.

Submitting such an offer waives the respondent's right to a hearing and the right to appeal. If the Department of Enforcement accepts the offer, it must be submitted for approval to the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) for review. Unless the offer is contested by the NAC, it is then accepted and final.

If the Department of Enforcement does not agree to the offer, the offer and a written statement of opposition is sent to the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will then arrange a settlement conference and try to work out a compromise.

In some cases, involving minor rule violations (MRV), the court may offer a summary complaint procedure. To accept this procedure, the respondent must not dispute the charges and must waive his or her right to a hearing. In this case, the respondent signs an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC), in which he or she accepts the finding of violation, consents to sanctions and waives the right to appeal.

Minor violations that are not disputed are subject to a maximum fine of $2,500 and a censure. The summary complaint procedure is available for offenses such as:

  • Failure to keep books and records as required by the SEC.
  • Failure to maintain required files for advertising and sales literature.
  • Failure to have advertising and sales literature approved prior to use.
  • Failure to file advertising and sales literature with the FINRA within the correct time.