New AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules Effective October 1, 2013

The American Arbitration Association announced new commercial arbitration rules which will become effective for all cases filed after October 1, 2013.  Significant rule changes include:

  • all cases exceeding $75,000 must be mediated concurrently with the arbitration proceeding, subject to unilateral opt out rights (R-9)
  • use of the preliminary hearing to structure the arbitration proceeding (R-21; P-1&2)
  • requiring the tribunal to manage document exchange with a view to achieving an efficient and economical resolution of the dispute (R-22)
  • granting extensive enforcement powers to the tribunal in conducting the arbitration and document production, including the right to draw adverse inferences from willful non-compliance with “any order issued by the arbitrator”; financial penalties; and the power to issue any enforcement order permitted by law (R-23)
  • authorizing dispositive motions (R-33)
  • authorizing emergency relief for all cases in which the arbitration agreement was entered into on or after October 1, 2013 (R-38)
  • authorizing the tribunal to restrict a non-paying party from pursuing a claim (but not extending to defending against a claim) (R-57)
  • authorizing the tribunal to issue sanctions against a party who fails to comply with its obligations under the Rules or the tribunal’s orders (R-58)

AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules 2013