47 CFR § 1.737 - Mediation.

§ 1.737 Mediation.

(a) The Commission encourages parties to attempt to settle or narrow their disputes. To that end, staff in the Enforcement Bureau's Market Disputes Resolution Division are available to conduct mediations. Staff will determine whether a matter is appropriate for mediation. Participation in mediation is generally voluntary, but may be required as a condition for including a matter on the Accelerated Docket.

(b) Parties may request mediation of a dispute before the filing of a complaint. After a complaint has been filed, parties may request mediation as long as a proceeding is pending before the Commission.

(c) Parties may request mediation by: Calling the Chief of the Enforcement Bureau's Market Disputes Resolution Division; submitting a written request in a letter addressed to the Chief of the Market Disputes Resolution Division; or including a mediation request in any pleading in a formal complaint proceeding, or an informal complaint proceeding under § 1.717. Any party requesting mediation must verify that it has attempted to contact all other parties to determine whether they are amenable to mediation, and shall state the response of each party, if any.

(d) Staff will schedule the mediation in consultation with the parties. Staff may request written statements and other information from the parties to assist in the mediation.

(e) In any proceeding to which no statutory deadline applies, staff may, in its discretion, hold a case in abeyance pending mediation.

(f) The parties and Commission staff shall keep confidential all written and oral communications prepared or made for purposes of the mediation, including mediation submissions, offers of compromise, and staff and party comments made during the course of the mediation (Mediation Communications). Neither staff nor the parties may use, disclose or seek to disclose Mediation Communications in any proceeding before the Commission (including an arbitration or a formal complaint proceeding involving the instant dispute) or before any other tribunal, unless compelled to do so by law. Documents and information that are otherwise discoverable do not become Mediation Communications merely because they are disclosed or discussed during the mediation. Unless otherwise directed by Commission staff, the existence of the mediation will not be treated as confidential. A party may request that the existence of the mediation be treated as confidential in a case where this fact has not previously been publicly disclosed, and staff may grant such a request for good cause shown.

(g) Any party or Commission staff may terminate a mediation by notifying other participants of their decision to terminate. Staff shall promptly confirm in writing that the mediation has ended. The confidentiality rules in paragraph (f) of this section shall continue to apply to any Mediation Communications. Further, unless otherwise directed, any staff ruling requiring that the existence of the mediation be treated as confidential will continue to apply after the mediation has ended.

(h) For disputes arising under 47 U.S.C. 255, 617, and 619, and the advanced communications services and equipment rules, parties shall submit the Request for Dispute Assistance in accordance with § 14.32 of this chapter.

[83 FR 44837, Sept. 4, 2018]