A current nod to Covid-19 realities: FINRA’s virtual hearings

A current nod to Covid-19 realities: FINRA’s virtual hearings

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2020 | Ethics & Professional Responsibility

The size and variety of California’s commercial realm can scarcely be overstated. It hardly does justice to the state’s business clout to note that its myriad industries propel an economy that is unrivaled in any other state. In fact, California’s gross domestic product stands on par with that of the most productive countries on earth.

Unsurprisingly, many specific business spheres are especially large and prominent.

And, ergo, closely overseen and regulated by industry regulators.

One that comes readily to mind is the realm of licensed financial professionals. We underscore on our website at the experienced license-defense Century Law Group (with multiple offices spanning California) that the industry features many actors. Notably, it broadly comprises “financial advisers, certified public accountants, stockbrokers, brokerage firms and other financial professionals.”

Those individuals and entities are constantly under a regulatory microscope, with central oversight of their conduct and activities being exercised by examiners at the federal Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

FINRA commonly issues orders to industry professionals to appear at hearings before agency panels empowered to investigate and pronounce judgment on alleged wrongdoing.

As noted recently in a national legal publication, the flow and pattern of those hearings has been largely disrupted by the current health pandemic. Reportedly, “only a handful” of FINRA’s 70 hearing locales nationally remain open presently. Most on-site venues – including those across California – are temporarily closed.

That has led to so-called “virtual” hearings conducted via online video conferencing.

Initial takeaways regarding the virtual process have been both piecemeal and largely neutral at best. Such hearings are often resisted by parties, with the above-cited article stressing that the virtual format “is still far from being a part of the new normal.”

Questions or concerns regarding a FINRA summons or disciplinary hearing can be directed to a proven legal team of license-defense attorneys.