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American Arbitration Association Announces New Rules

Wednesday, September, 17, 2014


The American Arbitration Association (AAA) has announced new and greatly expanded Consumer Arbitration Rules that took effect on September 1, 2014.  Any arbitration filed on or after that date will fall under the new set of rules.  The new language replaces the eight simple rules with a more complex and robust set of 55 specific rules that all members of the AAA must adhere to while conducting consumer arbitration proceedings.

 

Some of the notable changes found in the new rules include

 

  • The AAA will not conduct arbitrations for companies and businesses unless the company first submits its arbitration agreement for review by the AAA.
  • The AAA will only administer arbitrations for agreements that it finds compliant with its Consumer Due Process Protocol guidelines.
  • The establishment of a public Consumer Clause Registry, where the arbitration agreement and all related documents will appear once an arbitration request is accepted by the AAA.

 

Also part of the new rules is a new and revised fee structure that will require companies to pay $500 per year to the AAA for arbitration services (though companies can pay $650 immediately and be enrolled through 2015).  If companies opt not to participate, the AAA will still hear arbitrations after an “expedited” review of the arbitration agreement for a total cost of $750 (the standard $500 fee plus a $250 in “expediting fees”).

 

The greatly expanded rules are designed to reflect the increasing reliance on arbitration by companies to resolve a growing list of disputes with consumers.