Document Type



This Article contributes to the literature exploring the impact of the pandemic on arbitration and explores whether parties arbitrating their disputes during the pandemic have had access to justice equivalent to the justice that was available pre-pandemic. Though it is difficult to draw any conclusions about FINRA arbitration due to the confidential and non-reasoned nature of awards, the Article focuses on arbitration of securities industry disputes at one forum, FINRA DRS. In particular, the Article analyzes data about FINRA customer arbitrations over the course of the pandemic, from onset in March 2020 through mid-2022, when most municipalities had lifted COVID-19 restrictions.

This Article proceeds in six parts. Part II briefly describes FINRA arbitration. Part III describes how the forum responded to the pandemic for its arbitration docket, including its pivot to Zoom hearings, and also discusses the pros and cons of proceeding with an arbitration hearing via Zoom. Part IV relates empirical data on the outcome of FINRA customer arbitration during the pandemic. Part V offers some analysis of the data and explores whether Zoom arbitration at FINRA impedes access to justice. Part VI concludes.