We are often asked what materials an attorney should bring to a large and complex, customer versus brokerage firm, securities arbitration hearing besides evidentiary documents. Below is a list of five things every practitioner should not be without:
1. Exhibit Binders and Tabs
You’d be surprised how many attorneys come to arbitration proceedings without bringing binders and tabs for the arbitrators to hold exhibits. It’s a mistake. Arbitrators appreciate the organized presentation of exhibits. Bring one for opposing counsel and a witness binder as well.
2. Discovery Binder
There are often discovery disputes during arbitration hearings. Make sure you have a binder with all of the document requests, document responses, motions to compel and their responses, orders by the Panel and indices of what documents have been produced by both sides.
3. Securities Arbitration Desk Reference
Professors Seth Lipner and Joe Long have put together an essential reference book which all attorneys should bring to the hearing. The Securities Arbitration Desk Reference has the arbitration statutes, SRO arbitration and conduct rules, the Blue Sky Laws, the Securities Acts and insightful commentary by two experienced securities arbitration professionals.
4. Federal Rules of Evidence
Along with the Reference by Professors Lipner and Long, attorneys should bring a copy of the Federal Rules of Evidence. One never knows how stringent a panel will follow the rules of evidence in a securities arbitration. It’s good to know you have the FRE with you.
Unfortunately, large and complex securities arbitration hearings often take longer than the amount of days scheduled. Therefore, always remember to have your calendar with you to potentially schedule more hearing dates. Hopefully, tips one through four will help you avoid needing tip five.