What to Expect - Training, Case Service and Honorarium
All arbitrators accepted to the roster must complete FINRA's Basic Arbitrator Training Program before becoming eligible to serve on arbitration cases.
The Basic Arbitrator Training Program covers each stage of FINRA's arbitration process and reviews the procedures that arbitrators must follow to successfully complete an arbitration case. The Basic Arbitrator Training Program consists of an online basic arbitrator training course, an online expungement training course and a live video or onsite classroom training session. Arbitrator candidates who have been approved to the roster, and who successfully pass the arbitrator training program become eligible for case service.
If you are an attorney, this training may qualify for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit in your state.
FINRA also offers advanced arbitrator training on specific areas of FINRA's arbitration rules and processes. These sessions are available to an arbitrator who has passed the Basic Arbitrator Training Program.
Serving on a Case
Once an arbitrator completes FINRA's Basic Arbitrator Training Program, he or she will be eligible to hear cases. The arbitrator's name will begin to appear on lists (generated on a random basis by our list selection system) and be sent to the parties during the list selection process. An arbitrator who is selected to hear a case may serve as the sole arbitrator or as part of a three-person arbitration panel. An arbitrator who accepts a case assignment must review all case materials prior to the first hearing session. Additionally, the arbitrator may be required to:
- participate in an initial prehearing conference call to schedule hearing dates, set discovery and motion deadlines and address any other preliminary issues involved with the case;
- participate in subsequent prehearing calls , if necessary, to resolve discovery disputes, hear arguments on motions, resolve scheduling issues and address any other matter that will simplify or expedite the hearing;
- attend an in-person hearing, when held (not all cases require an in-person hearing, and in such circumstances, the selected arbitrator will render a decision based on the information provided by the parties);
- discuss and deliberate the outcome after the hearing; and
- render a decision in the case.
Want to see a typical day at a hearing? View this video.
FINRA arbitrators receive a modest honorarium for each regular or prehearing session they attend:
- $300 per single-session hearing (up to four-hours);
- $600 per double session (more than four hours);
- $350 per case decided on the papers submitted by the parties, without an in-person hearing; and
- $125 per day for arbitrators serving as chairperson at the hearings on the merits, in addition to the single-session honorarium. For cases filed on or after April 19, 2021, chairpersons will receive an additional $250 for each hearing day and an additional $125 for each prehearing conference.
Please see the Honorarium page for additional information. In addition, FINRA may reimburse arbitrators for reasonable travel expenses to attend a hearing. Please review the Guidelines for Arbitrator Reimbursement for guidance on FINRA's reimbursement policy.