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Honorarium

Honoraria for Motions

Last updated September 24, 2020

The honoraria listed in this chart only applies to arbitrators ruling on the papers where no pre-hearing conference is held with the parties to address the motion. If a pre-hearing conference is held, each participating arbitrator will receive the appropriate honorarium for the pre-hearing conference, in accordance with the hearing session listed in the Honoraria for Hearings chart.

Type of Motion* Contested Uncontested Authority

Motion for Subpoena(s)*

  • For cases filed before 12/15/14 - $200 max/arbitrator
  • For cases filed between 12/15/14 and 1/06/19 - $250 max/arbitrator
  • For cases filed on or after 1/7/19 - $200/motion

No payment

Rules 12214/13214

Motion for Order(s) for Production*

$200/motion

  • For cases filed before 1/7/19 - $200
  • For cases filed on or after 1/7/19 – no payment

Rules 12214/13214

Motion for Order(s) to Appear*

  • For cases filed before 1/7/19 – no payment
  • For cases filed on or after 1/7/19 - $200/motion

No payment

Rules 12214/13214

Motion for Confidentiality Order*

$200

No payment

Rules 12214/13214

Discovery Motions (i.e. Motions to Compel, Sanctions, Quash, etc.) *

$200

$200

Rules 12214/13214

Non-Discovery Motions for Full Panel (i.e. Motions to Amend, Dismiss, Strike, etc.) *

No payment

No payment

Not provided for in the Code

*Please note there is no honoraria payable for agreed or stipulated motions.

Honoraria for Hearings, Cancellations and Other Decisions

Last updated April 19, 2021

Type of Event General Honorarium Amounts Authority

Hearing Session

0-4 hours with parties in pre-hearings or hearings
(Rules 12100(p) and 13100(p))

  • For cases filed before 12/15/14 - $200
  • For cases filed on or after 12/15/14 - $300

Rules 12214/13214

Additional Chairperson Payment For Each Day of Evidentiary Hearings

  • For cases filed before 12/15/14 - $75
  • For cases filed on or after 12/15/14 -$125
  • For cases filed on or after 4/19/2021 - $250

Rules 12214/13214

Additional Chairperson Payment For Pre-hearing Conferences

  • For cases filed on or after 4/19/2021 - $125

Rules 12214/13214

Last-Minute Cancellation of Pre-hearing Conference

For cases filed on or after 10/29/2018 - $100

(if cancellation is within 3 business days)

Rules 12214/13214

Postponement of Evidentiary Hearings

No payment. Unless it is a last-minute cancellation. Please see row above.

Rules 12601/13601

Last-Minute Cancellation of Evidentiary Hearings

  • For cases filed before 7/6/15- $100
    (if cancellation is within 3 business days)
  • For cases filed on or after 7/6/15- $600
    (if cancellation is within 10 calendar days)

Rules 12601/13601

Arbitrator Travel to Postponed/Settled Hearing

$50

Rules 12214/13214

Explained Decision

Must be joint request filed at least 20 days before the scheduled hearing (per Rules 12514/13514)

$400 for Chairperson only

Rules 12214/13214

Paper Case Decision

  • For cases filed before 12/15/14 - $125
  • For cases filed on or after 12/15/14 - $350

Rules 12800/1380
(Simplified Cases)

Rules 12801/13801 (Default Proceedings)

Rule 13806 (Promissory Note Cases)

Stipulated Award Decision Fee

  • $125

Not provided for in the Code

Q. As an arbitrator on the Dispute Resolution roster, am I entitled to compensation for my service?

A. Yes, arbitrators are compensated at the rate of $300 per hearing session, with an additional $125 per day if acting as Chairperson at the hearings on the merits. For cases filed on or after April 19, 2021, Chairpersons will receive an additional $250 for each hearing day.

Q. Do Chairpersons receive an additional honorarium for participating in prehearing conferences?

A. For cases filed or after April 19, 2021, Chairpersons will receive an additional $125 for each prehearing conference in which the Chairperson participates.

Q. How does FINRA calculate hearing sessions to determine arbitrator honorarium and the forum fees assessed to the parties?

A. Pursuant to Rules 12100(n) and 13100(n) of the Codes of Arbitration Procedure, a “hearing session” is a meeting between the parties and arbitrators of four hours or less, including a hearing or a prehearing conference. FINRA calculates the number of hearing sessions per day based upon the total amount of time the parties and arbitrators meet. For example, if the parties and arbitrators meet in the morning for two and one-half hours (2 ½), break for lunch for one hour (1) and return after lunch to meet for another one and one-half hours (1 ½), the parties will be assessed for one hearing session, and the arbitrators will be paid for one hearing session. FINRA does not calculate the one-hour lunch as part of the hearing session. Although the parties and arbitrators met twice, once before and once after lunch, the total amount of time spent does not equal two hearing sessions pursuant to Rules 12100(n) and 13100(n). Instead, the controlling factor in determining the number of hearing sessions is the total amount of time the parties and arbitrators met, which, in this example, equals one hearing session.

Q. Can two hearing sessions be held in a single day?

A. Yes, in many instances, evidentiary hearings are scheduled for four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon. When two, four-hour sessions are held in a single day, an arbitrator’s honorarium is $600, or $725 if the arbitrator is acting as Chairperson. For cases filed on or after April 19, 2021, Chairpersons will receive an additional $250 for each hearing day for a total of $850.

Q. So, that means an arbitrator can make $725 (or $850 for cases filed on or after April 19, 2021) a day – maximum – and that includes serving as Chairperson. That figure is considerably lower than the amount paid by other dispute resolution forums. Can I demand my hourly rate, as I do in the other forums?

A. No, the arbitrators’ honorarium is set at a fixed rate. Arbitrators should not ask the parties, or the FINRA staff member assigned to the case, to pay a higher rate.

Q. What is the arbitrator honorarium for deciding a case when no hearing is held?

A. Under FINRA’s simplified arbitration rules, arbitrators receive $350 for deciding a case based on the pleadings and other materials submitted by the parties, when no hearing is held.

Q. Who is responsible for collecting my fees from the parties?

A. Unlike other forums, Dispute Resolution pays the arbitrator honorarium for members of its roster from fees collected from the parties. Parties do not pay arbitrators directly. This is another important reason why arbitrators should not discuss any issue regarding their honorarium with the parties or their representatives.

Q. Am I a FINRA employee?

A. No, arbitrators are independent contractors, not employees of FINRA. As such, arbitrators are not eligible to receive any unemployment benefits or any FINRA employee benefits.

Q. I understand that arbitrators are often required to read and review lengthy materials in preparation for a hearing, or prior to rendering an award. Are arbitrators compensated for the time spent studying materials?

A. No, the honorarium applies only to hearings and does not cover “study time.”

Q. Will I be compensated for handling any discovery motions?

A. Yes, FINRA provides arbitrators an honorarium of $200 to decide discovery-related motions on the papers. If more than one arbitrator considers a discovery-related motion, each arbitrator will receive $200. The panel will allocate the cost of the honorarium to the parties in the arbitration award.

Q. Will I be compensated for deciding a contested motion requesting that I issue a subpoena?

A. Yes, FINRA pays arbitrators an honorarium of $200 to decide without a hearing session a contested subpoena request or a contested order for production or appearance. This honorarium is not paid in simplified cases.

Q. What if a case settles before the hearing, after I’ve read all the materials in preparation? Am I entitled to compensation for the time I’ve already spent?

A. We place great value on the time contributed by arbitrators serving on the Dispute Resolution roster. However, arbitrators are not currently compensated for their preparation time, regardless of whether a case proceeds to hearing or is settled.

Q. If the parties request an explained decision pursuant to Rule 12904, will the arbitrators be compensated for drafting the explained decision?

A. Yes, the chairperson who is responsible for writing an explained decision will receive an additional honorarium of $400 pursuant to Rule 12904.

Q. What if a hearing is postponed? Are arbitrators compensated for the time they set aside for a hearing that is ultimately cancelled?

A. Yes, an arbitrator will receive $600 if a hearing is postponed, adjourned or cancelled within 10 days before a scheduled hearing session. This cancellation fee is effective for arbitration cases filed on or after July 6, 2015. For cases filed prior to July 6, 2015, an arbitrator will receive $100 if a hearing is postponed or cancelled within three business days before a scheduled hearing session. [Please note: If an arbitrator appears at a cancelled hearing because FINRA staff was unable to notify the arbitrator, the arbitrator will receive $50 for his/her trouble.] In addition, an arbitrator will receive $100 if a prehearing conference is cancelled within three business days of the scheduled date. This fee is effective for arbitration cases filed on or after October 29, 2018.

Q. The honorarium I’ve been receiving is less than $300 per hearing session. Why is that?

A. FINRA’s rules were revised in 2014 to increase the arbitrators’ honorarium to $300 per hearing session. If you are serving on a case that was filed prior to December 15, 2014, your honorarium will be at the lower rate that was in effect at the time the case was filed.

Q. Can I be reimbursed for expenses?

A. Arbitrators are reimbursed for reasonable local expenses. For further details, please refer to the FINRA Arbitrator Travel Policy on FINRA’s website.

Q. I participated in a hearing two weeks ago and have not received my honorarium check. Who can I contact to inquire about the payment?

A. You can contact the case administrator who is managing the case. Your case administrator will be the main point of contact for these types of inquiries. Note, however, that FINRA will wait at least 30 days since the check was issued before issuing a new check. This allows time for reasonable delays before initiating stop payments and re-issuing checks.