By Mary Ann Hanke, Fall 2016 Student Intern
Now that you have filed a claim, gotten an answer, and chosen your arbitrator, it is time to start building your case in preparation for the arbitration hearing.
For your statement of claim, you probably had to do some research and document review of your past account statements, but now you will have the opportunity to obtain more facts and information from the Respondents. In all cases where a hearing is requested, there are presumptively discoverable information that all parties must provide to the other parties. If that presumptively discoverable information does not fill in any remaining holes, you can also send the other side a Discovery Request. Once you send this to the Respondents, they have the obligation to provide and send the materials in response to such requests or object in limited circumstances.
If you and the Respondents have a disagreement over whether certain information should be produced, you can file a motion to compel discovery. This motion asks the arbitrator to intervene and order the production if the information is in fact deemed relevant and necessary. Further disagreement may be treated with sanctions by the arbitrator especially if he or she feels there have been discovery abuses in the process.
FINRA has produced Discovery Guides to help parties navigate the discovery process and to provide a standard for resolving disputes. While sometimes contentious, it is important to remember that discovery is critical for both parties, and cooperation is key to resolving disputes in a timely and professional manner.
What’s next? The Arbitration Hearing…