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The SEC approved amendments to FINRA’s customer and industry
arbitration rules to charge parties who request cancellation of a prehearing
conference within three business days of the prehearing conference a $100
per-arbitrator fee. The amendment also provides for a $100 honorarium to each
arbitrator scheduled to attend the cancelled prehearing conference.
The fee applies even if the parties agree to cancel the
prehearing conference. If the parties do
not agree to a fee allocation, the arbitrators will have discretion to allocate
the fee among the parties. The
arbitrators will also have the discretion to allocate the fee to the
non-requesting party if the arbitrators determine that the non-requesting party
caused or contributed to the need for the cancellation. However, in the event that an extraordinary
circumstance prevents a party or parties from making a timely cancellation
request, the arbitrators may use their discretion to waive the fee, provided a
written explanation is given.