FINRA Dispute Resolution announced they are postponing all in-person hearings that are scheduled to commence on or before September 4, 2020. The OHO will be rescheduling these with agreement of the parties.
FINRA Dispute Resolution offers virtual hearing services (via Zoom and teleconference) to parties in all cases by joint agreement or by panel order. These services provide high-quality, secure, user-friendly options for conducting video and telephonic hearings and sharing documents remotely. I learned on a recent webinar that virtual single-day and multi-day virtual hearings have already taken place with more scheduled.
Unlike in-person hearings, an issue in this new virtual format is security. Security in this context relates to controlling uninvited listeners or coaches who could be off camera but still visible to the testifier. To reduce the possibility of coaching, FINRA might eliminate Chroma-key (green screen) style virtual backgrounds. It has further been suggested that the testifying witness in addition to affirming to the panel that he is alone, might be asked to take the camera off his computer and show the panel a 360-degree view of the room. In this Covid-19 world where the whole family is working from home background noise from kids, dogs and other virtual events from another room can become a problem.
Here are some recent related FINRA documents that might be helpful.
Virtual Hearing Guide for Arbitrators
Arbitrator Resource Guide for Virtual Hearings
Virtual Hearing Guide for Parties
I have the most modern video equipment. Further, I have been associated with the securities industry for over fifty years including 35 years of increasing responsibility with broker-dealers and 15 years as a securities expert witness. I can combine this new technology with my fifty-year securities industry history to help you and your clients in coming securities disputes.