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Litigation Alternatives

STB’s experts can help you explore alternatives to costly, time-consuming litigation: our Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program assists with everything from straightforward inquiries to informal dispute resolution. STB-led mediation enables disputing parties to seek common ground, and arbitration allows an impartial third-party to settle parties' disputes in lieu of a formal adjudication by the Board.

Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program: A free program, RCPA can clarify the STB’s jurisdiction and procedures, and informally offer advice on next steps for disputing parties. Our staff includes lawyers, former employees of shippers/railroads, and other professionals who are subject-matter experts on topics such as:

Note: Since RCPA is an informal program, we cannot order a specific resolution or provide official opinions or rulings. You have the right to bring a formal dispute before the Board at any time. RCPA staff will not take part, and your identity will not be revealed to the other party without your consent.


Arbitration: Disputing parties may agree to allow an impartial third-party to help settle their differences in lieu of filing a formal complaint.


Mediation: It is often preferable for two parties to work out an agreement together, rather than to receive an order from the Board. STB facilitates communication so disputing parties can walk away with a solution that satisfies everyone.