// Add the new slick-theme.css if you want the default styling
The SEC recently approved a rule amendment to create an
intermediate form of adjudication for small claims. The proposal amends Rules 12600 and 12800 of
the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure
for Customer Disputes and Rules 13600 and 13800 of the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes. The amendments provide parties with claims of
$50,000.00 or less an opportunity to argue their cases before a single
arbitrator in a shorter, more limited telephonic hearing format.
The amendments to the Rules now allow for two options. Option One follows the regular provisions of
the Codes relating to prehearings and hearings, including all fee
provisions. If parties choose Option One,
they will continue to have in-person hearings without time limits, and they
will continue to be permitted to question opposing parties’ witnesses.
Option Two will be the new Special Proceeding subject to the
regular provisions of the Code relating to prehearing and hearings, including
fee provisions, with the following differences: an arbitrator will hear the
case by telephone conference call unless all parties agree as to another method
of appearance; each side will have two hours to present their cases and
one-half hour for rebuttal and closing statements; arbitrators will have up to
three hours to ask questions; the hearing will be completed in one day with no
more than two hearing sessions; parties may not question an opposing parties’
witnesses; and parties may not call an opposing party as a witness.