Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Friday, January 18, 2013

FINRA Announces Changes to Subpoena Rules in Arbitration

FINRA announced that the SEC has approved amendments to the Arbitration Codes relating to subpoenas and orders to direct the appearance of witnesses and production of documents without subpoenas.  The Customer and Industry Codes of Arbitration Procedure (Codes) provide arbitrators with the authority to issue subpoenas for the appearance of witnesses and the production of documents. The Codes also authorize arbitrators to order FINRA member firms and their employees and associated persons to produce documents and/or to appear as witnesses without using the subpoena process. The SEC approved amendments to the Codes which direct arbitrators, in most instances, to issue orders (arbitrator orders), instead of issuing subpoenas, when industry parties seek the appearance of witnesses or the production of documents from non-party firms or their employees or associated persons.

The amendments add procedures for non-parties to object to subpoenas and for parties and non-parties to object to arbitrator orders of production. They also standardize procedures under the Codes relating to service of motions for subpoenas and arbitrator orders; service of issued subpoenas and arbitrator orders; and time frames for responding to subpoenas and arbitrator orders, making them operationally consistent.

Effective Date: February 18, 2013

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