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 What We Do / Arbitration / Requesting an Arbitration Panel from FMCS
  Requesting an Arbitration Panel

Effective October 1, 2004, only requests for on-line panels that are sent via e-mail will be charged $30.00. If one or more of the parties requests delivery by mail or fax, the charge will be $50, due to the additional staff time for handling the panels and the cost of postage for mailing.

There are two ways you can request a panel of arbitrators from FMCS:

  • Online Form Submission: You must use the online system click here to file electronically. Complete the Online Panel Request. Once this form is filed electronically, do not fax or mail a copy to FMCS. The data has been captured. Questions or problems? You may call us at (202) 606-5111 for help or assistance.
  • Submit the Fillable Form R-43 (PDF) via fax to (202) 606-3749 or mail. You can complete this form and  print it. The information typed in cannot be saved unless you have the Full Version of Adobe Acrobat Reader which is not free. This form cannot be submitted online.
  • Submit the Non-FIllable Form R-43 (PDF) via fax to (202) 606-3749 or mail. You can only print this out.  This form cannot be submitted online.

In addition to checks and money orders, FMCS accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards as payment for arbitration panels.  (If you submit a check to FMCS as payment for an arbitration panel, please read the Notice to Customers Making Payments by Check carefully regarding FMCS' procedures for handling these funds.)  If your account does not permit ACH (electronic) withdrawals, do not submit a check to FMCS.  Please use a credit card for payment.

To avoid duplicate credit card charges, submit the Form R-43 by mail or fax. Do not submit the form using both methods.  

Question or Need Help?  If you have any questions or need help with the forms, you may call (202) 606-5111 and we will be able to assist you.

Labor-management customers have three options from which to choose with regard to the pooling of arbitrators:

  1. Metropolitan. If this area is selected, parties will receive a panel of arbitrators whose principal office is within a 125-mile radius of the site of the dispute. Should fewer than 15 arbitrators be available, the parties will automatically receive a sub-regional panel. While the OAS permits arbitrators to have two address listings, only the first business address will be used for this selection.
  2. Sub-Regional. If this area is selected, parties will receive a panel of arbitrators in accordance with the State Coding for Arbitrator Selections. FMCS will use both an arbitrator's first and second address in filling sub-regional panel requests. Arbitrators must bill from the address closest to the site of the dispute. If a customer receives a biographical sketch of an arbitrator and it contains two addresses, the address within the geographical area requested is the location from which the arbitrator must bill.
  3. Regional. FMCS has eight (8) regions for selecting arbitrators. See the FMCS Regional Arbitration Map. First and second addresses of arbitrators are considered in filling all regional requests.

NOTE:  If a specific geographical area is not indicated on a panel request, the FMCS selection process defaults to “Regional” to select the arbitrator.

Once a panel request is received by FMCS, it is reviewed for completeness, ensuring that the parties have provided the pertinent information. Once this information is entered into the computer, arbitrators are randomly selected for each panel.

FMCS will accept requests for arbitrators with specific Issue and Industry experience or professional affiliation, provided both parties agree to the request or language permitting unilateral requests for this experience or affiliation is contained in the collective bargaining agreement. 

Permanent Panels:  Many collective bargaining agreements require that the parties establish "permanent panels" of arbitrators to hear cases for a specific period of time.  While arbitrators for these panels may be obtained via the internet, FMCS recommends that parties submit the request to FMCS to insure that arbitrators with specific qualifications are included on the panels.

 The Office of Arbitration Services will, upon written request, submit a list of arbitrators and their biographical sketches from a designated geographical area. The parties may then select and deal directly with the arbitrator of their choice, with no further involvement of FMCS with the parties or the arbitrator.   The cost for this service is $25.00 for the request and $.25 per page for each bio.  See Section 1404.9 of FMCS Arbitration Policies and Procedures.