Who Are FINRA Arbitrators?
If your case involves damages of more than $100,000, three FINRA-approved arbitrators will decide your case. Smaller cases will be decided by a single arbitrator. There is no judge or jury. FINRA arbitrators often are lawyers, accountants, retired judges, business owners, securities industry and banking professionals, and retired police officers and teachers.
The arbitrators review evidence that the parties present, make all evidentiary rulings, and ultimately issue an Award stating whether you win or lose and, if you win, how much money the broker or brokerage firm must pay you.
How Are the Arbitrators Chosen?
FINRA will provide each party with a list of 30 FINRA-approved arbitrators, divided into three subsets of ten. The parties are provided with a resume for each arbitrator, which will include, among other things, the arbitrators’s education, work history, arbitration award history, and a brief statement made by the arbitrator about their background. Each side in the case is permitted to strike up to four arbitrators from each of the three 10-person subsets and must rank, in order of preference, the remaining arbitrators that they did not strike. FINRA then will place on the panel the arbitrators with the lowest combined ranking from each of the subsets.
Rank and Strike the Arbitrators Carefully
The specific arbitrators for your case can make the difference between whether you win or lose, so it is very important that you carefully rank and strike the arbitrators. Even a great lawyer may not be able to prevail in a case with terrible arbitrators.
Brokerage firms and their well-paid lawyers have many years of experience choosing arbitrators and they typically expend significant resources researching the potential arbitrators. They will do what they can to eliminate arbitrators whom they believe are investor friendly.
It is important that you hire an experienced FINRA arbitration lawyer so that you have the benefit of the lawyer’s knowledge and experience in selecting arbitrators. Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein maintains an extensive database of information about FINRA arbitrators. DKR’s lawyers also spend a significant amount of time researching arbitrators.
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DKR’s stockbroker misconduct lawyers represent investment fraud victims from office located in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and West Palm Beach. If you believe you are a victim of investment fraud or stockbroker negligence contact us for a free case evaluation.