Wednesday, June 25, 2008
FINRA Dispute Resolution expanded its voluntary discovery arbitrator pilot, which it first launched in its Southeast and Western Regional hearing locations in 2005, to address concerns about discovery in arbitration. FINRA has also added non-public arbitrators to the pilot for certain intra-industry cases. Under the pilot, the Director of Arbitration appoints a single discovery arbitrator to resolve all discovery disputes before the hearing. The discovery arbitrators do not serve on the panels that decide the cases; they only decide the parties' discovery disputes. Parties participating in the pilot have described it as cost effective with arbitrators providing consistent decisions on discovery issues.
If parties wish to participate in the pilot, they must sign a stipulation and be represented by counsel.