FINRA arbitration is a way to settle disputes between investors and their brokerage firms. It is a process that is overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA. If you are an investor who has a dispute with your brokerage firm, you may be wondering how long the arbitration process will take. Keep reading to find out more about FINRA arbitration and how long it typically takes to resolve a dispute.
How long does a FINRA arbitration take from start to finish?
Figuring out how long the resolution of a FINRA arbitration will take can be a bit tricky. Generally, it will depend on such things as complexity of the dispute, the location of the arbitration, and the availability of witnesses or documents. That said, arbitrators strive to resolve most disputes within 12 to 16 months from when they are initially filed. This timeframe is from start to finish, including proceedings such as hearing preparation, pleadings exchange and review, motions process if applicable, hearing scheduling and attendance for all parties involved. These timeframes assist the arbitrator in making sure all parties have ample opportunity to provide their evidence, rebuttal and testimonies.
What are the steps involved in a FINRA arbitration case?
A FINRA arbitration case involves a number of steps starting with the claimant, who is the person filing the claim, filing a Statement of Claim with FINRA. After that, FINRA notifies the respondent and requests an Answer to be filed. Then, a pre-hearing conference call is held to identify parties, explain processes, and make any necessary scheduling decisions. From there, discovery will likely be initiated by both sides to acquire relevant documents from each other. Eventually, both sides have an opportunity to present their case at an in-person hearing where evidence is presented and seen by a panel of arbitrators. This panel decides whether or not the claimant’s allegations have been proven true and makes an award accordingly. Ultimately, this process helps provide timely resolution for investors’ disputes with securities firms.
Who decides whether an investor prevails in a FINRA arbitration case, and how is that decision made?
When an investor has a dispute with their stockbroker in FINRA Arbitration, a panel of arbitrators hears both sides of the case and then determines whether or not the investor prevails. To make this decision, the arbitrators will carefully consider all evidence, arguments and testimony presented by each party. They must also evaluate if any laws or regulations were violated or if any management or contractual duties were breached.
Overall, FINRA arbitration is a process that can take some time, depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of the arbitrators. By understanding how it works, investors can be better prepared for the journey ahead and psychologically ready to handle any bumps along the way. There are different procedures involved in FINRA arbitration cases, including filing a claim and having an opportunity to present evidence and testimony. Decisions involving an investor’s case are made by a panel of arbitrators who take into account all available facts and evidence before reaching their decision. While the process may seem intimidating at first, it is an effective route for securities fraud victims to seek financial relief. If you believe you might have a claim against your broker or firm through FINRA arbitration, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation with our experienced team.
Sean M. Sweeney is a shareholder at Halling and Cayo, a full service law firm in Milwaukee, WI and the head of its Securities Litigation team.
He represents individual and institutional investors in FINRA arbitration and court nationwide. He recovers investment losses from fraud or breach of duty from their broker-dealer.