Maritime Arbitration: 9 U.S. Code § 5 - Appointment of arbitrators or umpire
Did you know that when the other side in a maritime arbitration won't appoint an arbitrator, the Court can do it for them? You see, the United States' Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16) is sort of like carbon fiber; it doesn't look as strong as it is. But 'lo the uninitiated because I've seen the Federal Arbitration Act trip up more than one maritime attorney. So what happens is that when an obstinate party refuses to nominate an arbitrator, you and your admiralty attorney can petition the federal court to appoint an arbitrator for the other party. The Court's authority to appoint an arbitrator is set forth at § 5 of the Federal Arbitration Act which states:
If in the agreement provision be made for a method of naming or appointing an arbitrator or arbitrators or an umpire, such method shall be followed; but if no method be provided therein, or if a method be provided and any party thereto shall fail to avail himself of such method, or if for any other reason there shall be a lapse in the naming of an arbitrator or arbitrators or umpire, or in filling a vacancy, then upon the application of either party to the controversy the court shall designate and appoint an arbitrator or arbitrators or umpire, as the case may require, who shall act under the said agreement with the same force and effect as if he or they had been specifically named therein; and unless otherwise provided in the agreement the arbitration shall be by a single arbitrator.
You can read a recent maritime legal decision involving a chartering dispute in which the appointment of a maritime arbitrator by the Court is discussed by clicking here: Crystal Pool AS v. Trefin Tankers LTD., No. 12 Civ 9417, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64513 (S.D.N.Y. May 9, 2014)
When it comes to maritime arbitration, make sure you've retained maritime and admiralty legal counsel with the knowledge and experience to promote, protect and prosecute your maritime claim to a successful resolution.
Fulweiler llc possesses extensive experience representing charterers, vessel owners, salvors and various marine interests in maritime arbitrations. Call them today for a free consultation. From Newport to New York and on down to Fort Lauderdale, we're underway and making way on the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States.
By John Fulweiler
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