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December 23, 1988


The opinion of the court was delivered by: VAN ANTWERPEN


 This matter comes before the court on defendants' Motion to Stay Proceedings pending arbitration and Defendants' Motion to Stay Discovery. The action arises out of defendants' alleged "churning" and mismanaging plaintiff Columbus Sacco's securities account. For the reasons stated below, defendants' motion to stay proceedings will be granted in part and denied in part; defendants' motion to stay discovery will be denied.


 Plaintiff opened a securities account with defendant Prudential-Bache Securities, Inc. ("Pru-Bache") to which it assigned defendant Harold Wenger as account executive. (Complaint para. 21). Plaintiff executed two agreements with Pru-Bache which govern his securities account, and which allegedly provide for the arbitration of disputes that might arise out of the transaction of his account. (Defendants' Exhibits A and B). In 1986-87, plaintiff sold his welding business and deposited the proceeds in his Commonwealth National Bank ("CNB") trust account. (Complaint para. 51). After discussions with defendants, plaintiff granted them authority to execute transactions within the CNB account. (Complaint para. 58). Plaintiff alleges that in 1986 and 1987 defendants churned the accounts, buying securities with the intention of maximizing their commission income and without regard for their suitability to plaintiff's investment goals. (Complaint paras. 35 & 47). Plaintiff alleges that through this behavior defendants violated (1) Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R. §§ 240.10b-5; (2) Sections 17(a) and 12(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 77q and 771; and (3) Section 501 of the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972.


 A. Stay of Proceedings

 Defendants argue that we should stay proceedings pending arbitration because plaintiff agreed to arbitrate all claims at issue under the following provision of his contract:

Any controversy arising out of or relating to my account, to transactions with or for me or to this Agreement or the breach thereof, and whether executed or to be executed within or outside of the United States, except for any controversy arising out of or relating to transactions in commodities or contracts related thereto executed on or subject to the rules of a contract market designated as such under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the rules then obtaining of either the American Arbitration Association or the Board of Governors of the New York Stock Exchange as I may elect.

 The Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., provides that an agreement in writing to settle by arbitration a controversy arising out of the contract "shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract." The Act also expressly requires that, upon application of any party to a valid, written arbitration agreement, a federal district court must stay its proceedings where the issues to be presented are subject to that agreement. 9 U.S.C. § 3. The Arbitration Act does not permit the exercise of discretion by district courts, but instead mandates that courts direct the parties to arbitrate issues in accordance with their arbitration agreement. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 84 L. Ed. 2d 158, 105 S. Ct. 1238 (1985). Furthermore, if there is any ambiguity in the language of the agreement, all doubt should be resolved in favor of arbitration. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Construction Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24-25, 74 L. Ed. 2d 765, 103 S. Ct. 927 (1983).

 Plaintiff does not dispute that he must arbitrate some of his claims, but instead argues that (1) his claims arising under § 12(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 is not arbitrable as a matter of law and (2) the contract with Pru-Bache does not cover the claims arising out of transactions through the CNB account, and hence the arbitration provision does not apply. We agree with the first contention and disagree with the second.

 In Wilko v. Swan, 346 U.S. 427, 98 L. Ed. 168, 74 S. Ct. 182 (1953), the Supreme Court held that a claim arising under § 12(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 is not arbitrable. The Court reasoned that the arbitration agreement deprived the plaintiff of his right under the Security Act to select the judicial forum in which to pursue his claim. Id. at 435. Plaintiff could not waive this right because § 14 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. § 77n. (1982), voids any stipulation to "waive compliance with any provision" of the Securities Act.

 In Shearson/American Express v. McMahon, 482 U.S. 220, 107 S. Ct. 2332, 96 L. Ed. 2d 185 (1987), the Supreme Court cast serious doubt on the continued viability of Wilko. The Court held that when in accordance with arbitration agreements, parties must arbitrate claims arising under § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and claims arising under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq. The Court did not explicitly overrule Wilko,1 but its analysis did seriously undermine the holding.

 In McMahon, the Court held that the conclusion in Wilko was based on the Court's belief that a judicial forum was needed to protect the substantive rights created by the Securities Act; arbitration was inadequate to enforce those rights. Thus, the Court held that " Wilko must be read as barring waiver of a judicial forum only where arbitration is inadequate to protect substantive rights at issue." In assessing the arbitrability of claims under the 1934 Act, the McMahon Court could no longer justify the Wilko Court's concerns with the ineffectiveness of arbitration: "The mistrust of arbitration that formed the basis for the Wilko opinion in 1953 is difficult to square with the assessment of arbitration that has prevailed since that time." Id. at 2341. Given this most recent position of the Court, it appears that if we were to read Wilko as summarily barring arbitration of all 1933 claims, we would apply a rule that the Court has emptied of all content. ...

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