Simplified Arbitration Part Five – Who are the Arbitrators and how are they Appointed?

By Geoff Hafer, Spring 2016 Student Intern

So in our final topic of the Simplified Arbitration Series, we are looking at who the arbitrators are in Simplified Arbitrations and how they are appointed.

As outlined earlier in the series, Simplified Arbitration consists of a panel of one arbitrator. Within 30 days after the Respondent’s Answer is due, FINRA will send the parties a list of potential arbitrators. This list is generated by FINRA’s Neutral List Selection System which selects a list of ten public arbitrators from the FINRA Chairperson roster.

Well what does it mean to be a Chairperson?

According to FINRA, to be eligible for the Chairperson Roster such person must:

  • Be a public arbitrator
  • Have a law degree and are a member of a bar of at least one jurisdiction and have served as an arbitrator through award on at least two arbitrations administered by a self-regulatory organization in which hearings were held; or
  • Have served as an arbitrator through award on at least three arbitrations administered by a self-regulatory organization in which hearings were held.

Once the parties receive the list of arbitrators the selection process has two stages.

First, parties will rank and stroke potential arbitrators on the list and notify FINRA of their selections within 20 days from receipt of the list. Each separately represented party may strike up to four of the arbitrators from the list for any reason by crossing through the names of the arbitrators.

Next, within 25 days of receiving the parties’ selections, FINRA will combine the parties’ ranking, and identify the arbitrator.

Well, this wraps up Simplified Arbitration in a nutshell. I hope that you have followed the series from its inception and have come away with a better understanding of the ins and outs of Simplified Arbitration.