For over 25 years, Silver Law Group has been representing investors in securities and investment fraud cases. A core part of our practice is representing investors in stockbroker misconduct cases which are generally administer by FINRA and hearings are held in major cities around the country. However, the current health crisis requires new policy and procedures to allow these cases to be heard without the need of an in-person hearing. We support FINRA’s actions especially because many elderly investors are the target of fraud, Ponzi schemes, unsuitable recommendations, and other misconduct which would prevent them from seeking justice because they cannot travel to a live hearing. Silver Law Group believes zoom hearings, similar to client meetings and other events can be held by zoom or other methods without damaging the securities arbitration process.
How Does FINRA Handle A Zoom Securities Arbitration
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently set forth guidelines and best practices for the administration of arbitrations and mediations remotely via the Zoom platform. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, FINRA decided to administratively postpone all in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings that were scheduled through July 31, 2020. There is no knowing whether FINRA will postpone proceedings further into the future, but in the meantime, FINRA has offered to conduct arbitrations and mediations via Zoom, so long as the parties mutually agree to do so.
Additionally, when parties are scheduling arbitration dates, FINRA has requested that parties schedule two sets of dates, one several months further into the future in case of scheduling conflicts or additional postponements by FINRA.
Now, the reality of conducting a FINRA arbitration via Zoom has materialized and parties are weighing the pros and cons of going forward with a Final Hearing via Zoom against the uncertainty and delay of postponing in the hopes of an in-person proceeding sometime in the future.
To help facilitate Zoom arbitrations and mediations, FINRA has implemented various best practices and procedures to assist parties:
- Using Zoom’s security features, such as: a unique, randomly-generated meeting ID; a unique, randomly-generated meeting password to be admitted to the meeting; and use of the “waiting room feature” to ensure that only invited participants are admitted
- Conducting Zoom “trial runs” with arbitrators to test their equipment, familiarize them with the Zoom platform, and ensure that they understand the various functions (this is also available to parties and their counsel)
FINRA also published “Videoconference Tips” in its publication, “Neutral Corner”, which reminds arbitrators to:
- Test Your Equipment
- Properly Position Your Camera
- Mute Your Microphone
- Limit Distractions
- Look Professional
While these may seem obvious, FINRA arbitration proceedings involve discussions of complex topics, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, exchange of voluminous documents, and the interplay of many competing interests, including those of the investor/customer, the broker-dealer, and the arbitrators. Just like a trial taking place in a courtroom, the proceeding needs to be organized and communications must be clear and unobstructed to ensure that everyone’s interests and positions are understood.
Let Silver Law Group Help With Your FINRA Claim
Our team of investor advocates can help you recover improper losses. Our team of leading securities attorneys routinely meet with clients by telephone or video conference and are capable of representing investors nationwide. In fact, we have found video conference to be particularly beneficial in situations where remote investors who have been victims of a particular Ponzi scheme or investment fraud can aggregate without being together in the same room. We are happy to teach you how to use these new technologies if necessary.
Whether your investment arbitration takes place in person or via Zoom, it is essential that you are represented by an experienced securities attorney. The Silver Law Group is experienced in representing investors in securities and investment fraud cases nationwide. Our lawyers can help you recover investment losses due to stockbroker misconduct and most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us any money until we recover your money for you. Scott Silver, managing partner of Silver Law Group, is the chairman of the Securities and Financial Fraud Group of the American Association of Justice and has extensive experience representing investors in securities and investment fraud cases. Please contact us for a confidential consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at (800) 975-4345.