FINRA Arbitration motions: Hearing Timing & Location

Hearing location and timing
Hearing location and timing

Examples of FINRA Arbitration motions that can be made regarding timing and location.

The following motions can be made within a FINRA Arbitration.  These particular motions involve modifying the original claim.  The following concern the location of the hearing and its timing.  As an Arbitrator, I will be mindful that one of the goals of arbitration is to provide a speedy method for resolving disputes. Our role is to bring the parties’ disputes to a fair and expeditious conclusion.

Motion to Change the Hearing Location

In accordance with FINRA Rule 12213, FINRA will generally select the hearing location closest to the customer’s residence at the time of the events giving rise to the dispute, unless the hearing location closest to the customer’s residence is in a different state. In that case, the customer may request a hearing location in the state where the customer resided at the time of the events giving rise to the dispute, even though it may be further from the nearest out-of-state hearing location.

In cases involving firms only, or more than one associated person, under FINRA Rule 13213 FINRA will consider several factors when selecting the hearing location, including:

  • the parties’ signed agreement to arbitrate, if any;
  • which party initiated the transaction or business in issue; and
  • The location of essential witnesses and documents.

Motion to Postpone a Hearing

FINRA Rule 12601 provides that arbitrators may postpone any hearing(s) either on their own initiative or at the request of any party to the arbitration. A party may request that the arbitrators postpone a hearing for a variety of reasons, such as the sudden inability of a necessary party, counsel or material witness to appear.

Consensual Postponement

A hearing will be automatically postponed if all parties agree to postpone the hearing. However, if all parties jointly request or agree to more than two postponements, the panel may dismiss the arbitration without prejudice.

Contested Motion to Postpone

When parties request a postponement without the agreement of all parties, the panel may not grant a postponement request made within 10 days of a scheduled hearing session, unless the panel determines that good cause exists. In deciding whether to grant a contested postponement request, the arbitrators should consider the following factors:

  • fairness to the parties;
  • the objection of the opposing party;
  • the merits of the request;
  • previous postponements; and
  • the ability to conduct a productive hearing.

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman ( 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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