How FINRA Virtual Arbitration Hearings Differ From In-Person Hearings

When the pandemic arrived in 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) started moving many of its services online. Instead of in-person hearings, FINRA offered virtual arbitration hearings that came with their own set of challenges. As FINRA begins to resume in-person hearings, let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways from FINRA’s posted virtual arbitration hearing statistics and how this online format differs from in-person arbitration hearings.

The Latest FINRA Virtual Arbitration Hearing Statistics

With the closure of in-person services during the height of the pandemic, FINRA moved arbitration hearings to Zoom. As of November 30, 2021, when in-person hearings resumed, FINRA conducted 589 arbitration hearings over Zoom. Additionally, FINRA received 976 motions for Zoom hearings as of November 30, 2021. Of these motions, 509 were contested motions (367 customer-contested motions and 142 intra-industry contested motions), while 467 were joint motions (192 customer cases and 275 industry cases). The majority of these requests were granted, and a few remain open.

Considerations for Virtual Arbitration Hearings

While the goal of the FINRA arbitration hearing remains the same for virtual and in-person sessions, there are some additional considerations that participants should recognize before proceeding with a virtual arbitration. First, as the sessions occur over Zoom, technical challenges may arise. Poor internet connections, power outages, and other unforeseen circumstances may prevent the participants from gathering virtually. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the technology before your first session (i.e., practice muting yourself, positioning the camera, and entering and exiting the meeting) to minimize potential issues during the arbitration process. FINRA’s website offers additional resources to help participants prepare for an upcoming remote arbitration hearing.

Helping You Prepare For a Smooth Arbitration Hearing Session

Whether you are participating in a remote hearing or you are preparing for an in-person arbitration hearing, it’s natural to feel apprehensive and concerned about the process. The best way to ensure that you can navigate this process with clarity and confidence is to work with an experienced securities law attorney. Together, you can assess the nuances of the FINRA arbitration process and know what to expect at every step. Your attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and support you as you move forward.


Call Judex Law, LLC, today at (303) 523-4022 to learn more about how to prepare for an upcoming FINRA arbitration hearing.

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