If you are involved in an upcoming FINRA arbitration hearing, it’s natural to have several questions about what to expect during the process. While you may have some idea of the general outline of the proceedings, taking some time to prepare for each stage of the process allows you to approach the arbitration hearing with a greater sense of confidence. As pandemic restrictions begin to ease across the country, in-person hearings are resuming. However, many FINRA arbitration hearings are still taking place over Zoom. Here are some answers to common questions about virtual arbitration hearings so that you can prepare accordingly.
Will the Virtual Hearing Be Recorded?
Zoom offers the option for participants to record their sessions. According to FINRA Rule 12606/13606, the Zoom recording will serve as the “official record of the proceeding.” As with in-person hearings, the audio recording will serve as the official record. This means that the video recordings via Zoom will not be made available or retained. If an authorized party makes a written request for a copy of the recording, FINRA staff will provide them with the audio recording. Any unauthorized or secretive recordings of the virtual hearing are expressly prohibited.
Does FINRA Use Breakout Rooms During Zoom Arbitration Hearings?
Zoom offers breakout rooms to serve as private meeting spaces for arbitration participants. For instance, the panel may use a breakout room to confer with one another, while the respondent may wish to discuss a particular strategy with their attorney in a more private setting. FINRA arbitration hearings that are held virtually allow participants to use breakout rooms, but these sessions are not recorded. FINRA claims that they will announce that breakout rooms are off the record and stop the official recording session before proceeding to breakout rooms. Parties should be able to trust that their breakout session is private and not accessible to those outside the breakout room.
How do Virtual Arbitration Participants Handle Interruptions?
With remote technology, interruptions are always a factor. Distractions like phone calls, text messages, and family members stumbling into your workspace can and do happen, so how does FINRA suggest participants handle these interruptions? Before the virtual hearing begins, silence your phone, turn off all notifications, and make arrangements to minimize potential distractions as much as possible. If an emergency occurs, you can request a short recess to address the matter. Participants should also know that the Chair will schedule regular breaks, including a one-hour lunch recess.
Learn more about your options for navigating an upcoming FINRA arbitration hearing by calling Judex Law LLC today at (303) 523-4022.