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U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong has recused herself from the lawsuit filed by the New York Stock Exchange against the California Judicial Council over new rules for arbitrators, delaying a decision on a motion to throw out the case for at least another few weeks. Armstrong did not give a reason other than to say she had a conflict of interest, said Steven Williams of Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy, which represents the Judicial Council in NASD Dispute Resolution Inc. v. Judicial Council of California, 02-3486. The National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange had sued the council in July to try to block strict new ethical standards that require, among other things, neutral arbitrators to make disclosures about financial relationships or other conflicts of interest between themselves and parties in disputes. The NYSE and the NASD say the new standards are burdensome, and they have stopped appointing arbitrators to hear complaints in California. In August, Cotchett filed a motion to have the suit thrown out, and attorneys expected a decision by this week or next. Instead, Senior Judge Samuel Conti is handling the case, and it’s unclear when he plans to issue a decision on the motion. If he decides that he wants to hear oral arguments, those could be as early as Oct. 25.

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