FINRA postpones in-person arbitration hearings, waives postponement fees

Due to COVID-19, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said it has postponed all in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings scheduled through July 3.

Parties that have an in-person hearing or mediation session scheduled through this date will be contacted by FINRA staff to reschedule or discuss remote scheduling options.

Previously, in-person proceedings were postponed through May 31.

The proceedings can be held by Zoom or teleconference meetings, but both parties have to agree or such a meeting has to be ordered by a FINRA arbitration panel, according to FINRA.

“These services provide high-quality, secure, user-friendly options for conducting video and telephonic hearings and sharing documents remotely,” FINRA said.

“All case deadlines will continue to apply and must be timely met unless the parties jointly agree otherwise,” FINRA states. “We recognize that this decision may cause inconvenience and we do not make it lightly.”

FINRA also announced that it will waive postponement fees when parties stipulate to adjourn in-person hearing dates scheduled from July 6 through Sept. 4.

“To avoid postponement fees, parties must provide written notice of the stipulation to adjourn more than 20 days prior to the first scheduled hearing date,” FINRA states.

Parties stipulating to adjourn in-person hearing dates should also consider stipulating to changing other case deadlines.

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