- Filing a Claim
- Choosing a Panel
- Discovery and Pre-Hearing Motions
- The Final Hearing
- Judgment Enforcement and Appeals
What to Expect in a FINRA Arbitration - Filing a Claim
By Sean Sweeney on February 22, 2015
Rather than a summons and complaint, a claimant files what is known as a "Statement of Claims" to initiate an action for a FINRA Arbitration. While there are no specific rules of pleadings, the FINRA Rule states only that a statement of claims "specif[ies] the relevant facts and remedies requested," it can be the most important document for your claim. Unlike a complaint in a court case, that merely serves to meet certain procedural requirements, and the ultimate finder of fact, a jury, will never see, a statement of claims in a FINRA arbitration plays a much more important role.
At the beginning of each arbitration hearing the arbitration panel states that they have read the statement of claim and the answer. This means, the statement of claims is the opportunity to prime the arbitrators for what they are likely to hear, what we intend to prove, and let them know something about both the claimant and the conduct of the broker at issue. A well written statement of claims paints the claimant as sympathetic while also being clear about what conduct on the part of the broker violated his/her duties while not overstating ones case. The FINRA Arbitrator's guide explains in regards to FINRA Rule 12504(b) Motions to Dismiss after a Party Concludes its Case-in-Chief that motions may be made "on the grounds that the claimant failed to prove the allegations in the statement of claims." While ultimately the Arbitrators are instructed at the motion to dismiss stage to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the claimant, it puts the claimant at a disadvantage if their case has been overstated in a statement of claims.
This series of posts will walk through each of the parts of the FINRA arbitration process:
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“At The Securities Lawyers, you get hands-on involvement from a partner level attorney. If I'm on your case, there will be associates and paralegals assisting, but I will be the one trying your case, negotiating settlements, and mediating your case.” Sean M. Sweeney