The FINRA Board of Governors met this week to discuss a number of issues, including several rulemaking items. A summary of the rule proposals that relate to FINRA arbitration, as approved by the FINRA Board, are below.
Broadening Chairperson Eligibility in Arbitration
The Board authorized filing with the SEC proposed amendments to Rules 12400 and 13400 (Neutral List Selection System and Arbitrator Rosters) to revise the arbitration forum chairperson eligibility requirements. Specifically, an attorney arbitrator would be eligible for the chairperson roster if he or she completes chairperson training and serves as an arbitrator through award on at least one arbitration, instead of two arbitrations, administered by a self-regulatory organization in which hearings were held.
Motions to Dismiss in Arbitration
The Board authorized filing with the SEC proposed amendments to Rules 12504 and 13504 (Motions to Dismiss) to provide that arbitrators in its forum may act upon a motion to dismiss prior to the conclusion of a party’s case in chief if the arbitrators determine that the non-moving party previously brought the same dispute against the same party, and the dispute was fully and finally adjudicated on the merits.
Panel Selection in Customer Cases with Three Arbitrators
The Board authorized filing with the SEC proposed amendments to Rule 12403 (Cases with Three Arbitrators) to increase the number of public arbitrators on the list that FINRA sends parties during the panel selection process in customer cases. Specifically, FINRA would increase the number of public arbitrators on the list from 10 to 15. FINRA would also increase the number of strikes to the public list from four to six, to keep the proportion of strikes the same under the amended rule as it is under the current rule.