Challenging the Arbitrator: Challenge for Cause
In a FINRA Arbitration, parties are permitted to challenge the appointment of an arbitrator to their case. Parties may challenge the arbitrator directly by filing a Motion to Recuse. Alternatively, a party’s challenge may be made directly to FINRA in the form of a Challenge for Cause or by filing a Director’s Authority to Remove request.
According to FINRA rules, a party may file a challenge for cause to remove an arbitrator from the case before the first hearing session begins. Once a party files a challenge for cause, all opposing parties are entitled to submit a response. FINRA staff, on behalf of the Director of Arbitration, will review the challenge for cause and responses filed, if any, to determine whether to remove the arbitrator.
The rule provides that a challenge for cause to remove an arbitrator will be granted where it is reasonable to infer, based on information known at the time of the request, that the arbitrator is biased, lacks impartiality or has a direct or indirect interest in the outcome of the arbitration. The interest or bias must be direct, definite and capable of reasonable demonstration, rather than remote or speculative. Close questions regarding challenges to an arbitrator by a customer will be resolved in favor of the customer.
Here is the specific rule for the FINRA Director to remove an Arbitrator
12407. Removal of Arbitrator by Director
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.
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