Regulatory Notice 13-04

SEC Approves Amendments to Arbitration Codes Relating to Subpoenas and Orders to Direct the Appearance of Witnesses and Production of Documents Without Subpoenas

Effective Date: February 18, 2013

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.

The amendments are effective on February 18, 2013, for all motions filed on or after the effective date that request a subpoena under Rule 12512 or 13512, or an arbitrator order under Rule 12513 or 13513.

The text of the amendments is set forth in Attachment A.

Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to:

  • Richard W. Berry, Senior Vice President and Director of Case Administration, Operations, and Regional Office Services, Dispute Resolution, at (212) 858-4307 or email; or
  • Margo A. Hassan, Assistant Chief Counsel, Dispute Resolution, at (212) 858-4481 or email.