| by Heather Duncan, Esq.
Upon occasion, Network Deposition Services is asked to provide a certified shorthand reporter to cover an arbitration for FINRA. FINRA, the private self-regulatory organization that regulates many aspects of the security industry, follows its own unique set of procedural rules and regulations.
The FINRA rules for recording arbitrations are contained in Rule 12606, which is strikingly different from the procedural rules used in state and federal courts and AAA arbitrations. In general, under FINRA rules, the official record is a tape recording controlled by one of the arbitrators on a panel. A copy of the recording can be provided to the arbitrators and to any party for a nominal fee.
Even if an attorney wishes to have the arbitration recorded stenographically, the tape recorded record will generally remain the “official record” and the stenographic record will be considered the ordering attorney’s work product. Because it is the attorney’s work product, the court reporter may not provide a copy of the stenographic record to any other party without the ordering attorney’s express permission.
For anyone involved in a FINRA arbitration, below is Rule 12606 Record of Proceedings, in its entirety:
(a) Tape, Digital, or Other Recording
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b), the Director will make a tape, digital, or other recording of every hearing. The Director will provide a copy of the recording to any party upon request.
(2) The panel may order the parties to provide a transcription of the recording. If the panel orders a transcription, copies of the transcription must be provided to each arbitrator, served on each party, and filed with the Director. The panel will determine which party or parties must pay the cost of making the transcription and copies.
(3) The recording is the official record of the proceeding, even if it is transcribed.
(b) Stenographic Record
(1) Any party may make a stenographic record of the hearing. Even if a stenographic record is made, the tape, digital, or other recording will be the official record of the proceeding, unless the panel determines otherwise. If the panel determines in advance that the stenographic record will be the official record, the Director will not record the hearing.
(2) If the stenographic record is the official record of the proceeding, a copy must be provided to each arbitrator, served on each other party, and filed with the Director. The cost of making and copying the stenographic record will be borne by the party electing to make the stenographic record, unless the panel decides that one or more other parties should bear all or part of the costs.