49 CFR § 1108.6 - Arbitrators.

§ 1108.6 Arbitrators.

(a) Panel of arbitrators. Unless otherwise requested in writing pursuant to § 1108.5(a)(1) and agreed to by all parties to the arbitration, all matters arbitrated under these rules shall be resolved by a panel of three arbitrators.

(b) Roster. Arbitration shall be conducted by an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) selected, as provided herein, from a roster of persons with rail transportation, economic regulation, professional or business experience, including agriculture, in the private sector. Persons seeking to be included on the roster must have training in dispute resolution and/or experience in arbitration or other forms of dispute resolution. The Board will establish the initial roster of arbitrators by no-objection vote. The Board may modify the roster at any time by no-objection vote to include other eligible arbitrators or remove arbitrators who are no longer available. The Board's roster will provide a brief biographical sketch of each arbitrator, including information such as background, area(s) of expertise, arbitration experience, and geographical location, as well as general contact information and fees, based on the information supplied by the arbitrator. The roster shall be published on the Board's Web site. The Board will update the roster every year. The Board will seek public comment on any modifications that should be made to the roster, including requesting the names and qualifications of new arbitrators who wish to be placed on the roster, and updates from arbitrators appearing on the roster to confirm that the biographical information on file with the Board remains accurate. Arbitrators who wish to remain on the roster must notify the Board of their continued availability.

(c) Selecting the lead arbitrator. If the parties cannot mutually agree on a lead arbitrator for a panel of arbitrators, the parties shall use the following process to select a lead arbitrator: First, each party will be given three peremptory strikes to remove names from the Board's roster. Then, from the remaining names on the roster, each party will submit a list of up to 10 potential arbitrators. If only one arbitrator appears on both lists, he or she would be selected as the single or lead arbitrator. If multiple arbitrators appear on both lists, the parties would alternatively strike names of the jointly listed arbitrators until one remains, beginning with complainant. If no name appears on both lists, the parties would alternatively strike from the Board's entire roster, as amended based on the peremptory strikes. A lead arbitrator shall be selected within 14 days of the Board initiating the arbitration process.

(1) The parties are responsible for conducting their own due diligence in striking names from the arbitrator list. The final selection of a lead arbitrator is not challengeable before the Board.

(2) The lead arbitrator appointed through the strike methodology shall serve as the head of the arbitration panel and will be responsible for ensuring that the tasks detailed in §§ 1108.7 and 1108.9 are accomplished.

(d) Party-appointed arbitrators. The party or parties on each side of an arbitration dispute shall select one arbitrator from the roster, regardless of whether the other party struck the arbitrator's name in selecting a lead arbitrator. The party or parties on each side will appoint that side's own arbitrator within 14 days of the Board initiating the arbitration process. Parties on one side of an arbitration proceeding may not challenge the arbitrator selected by the opposing side.

(e) Use of a single arbitrator. Parties to arbitration may request the use of a single arbitrator. Requests for use of a single arbitrator must be included in a complaint or an answer as required in § 1108.5(a)(1), or in the joint notice filed under § 1108.5(e). Parties to both sides of an arbitration dispute must agree to the use of a single arbitrator in writing. If the single-arbitrator option is selected, and if parties cannot mutually agree on a single arbitrator, the arbitrator selection procedures outlined in paragraph (c) of this section shall apply.

(f) Arbitrator incapacitation. If at any time during the arbitration process a selected arbitrator becomes incapacitated or is unwilling or unable to fulfill his or her duties, a replacement arbitrator shall be promptly selected by either of the following processes:

(1) If the incapacitated arbitrator was appointed directly by a party to the arbitration, the appointing party shall, without delay, appoint a replacement arbitrator pursuant to the procedures set forth in § 1108.6(d).

(2) If the incapacitated arbitrator was the lead or single arbitrator, the parties shall promptly inform the Board of the arbitrator's incapacitation and the selection procedures set forth in paragraph (c) of this section shall apply.

[78 FR 29079, May 17, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 69415, Oct. 6, 2016]