The SEC has approved amendments to FINRA’s Code of Procedure that modify the specifics of how various proceedings are conducted. These changes will be effective on March 30, 2012. The changes are described as “procedural in nature,” and are generally minor changes, though they affect several different rules.
A breakdown of the changes is as follows:
-Service of Complaint: A complaint may be served to the counsel representing a party, instead of to the party directly, if the counsel consents to receive it.
-Filing Papers with Adjudicator: Email may be used to file documents with an adjudicator. Footnotes should be single-spaced. The number of copies to be filed has decreased from three to one (unless otherwise ordered).
-Motion to Withdraw by Attorney: If an attorney representing one of the parties seeks to withdraw, he or she must provide contact information for the party no longer being represented.
-Subjects Discussed at Pre-Hearing Conference: During a pre-hearing conference, a hearing office may act upon relevant portions of transcripts from investigative testimony.
-Fees for Copying Costs During Discovery: FINRA staff determine the rates for copying materials.
-Submission of Evidence: Documents submitted prior to a hearing are not automatically entered into record for that hearing (to minimize duplication).
-Hearing Panel and NAC Decisions: Decisions must be independently stated only if they are not already on record.
-Review Proceedings: The Review Subcommittee may review decisions.
-Oral Argument on Appeal: If a respondent appeals a decision and requests an oral argument, but then abandons the request or is unreasonably unavailable, the reviewing committee/subcommittee may cancel the oral argument.
-Failure to Participate in a Disciplinary Proceeding: The reviewing committee/subcommittee must remand a disciplinary proceeding if the appealing party fails to participate and shows good cause.
-Filing Papers in Eligibility Proceedings: Consent from all parties is no longer required for a hearing panel to extend filing deadlines for an eligibility proceeding.
-Procedural Motions in Eligibility or Expedited Proceedings: The National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) may decide any procedural motion made for an eligibility or expedited proceeding.
Source: FINRA Regulatory Notice 12-12
This alert applies to the Series 62, Series 26, Series 24, Series 7, and Series 82.