Questions?
Please fill out the form below if you have any questions regarding the Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules.

The AAA’s new set of Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules provides parties with a streamlined, standardized, appellate arbitration procedure that allows for a high-level review of arbitral awards while remaining consistent with the objective of an expedited, cost effective and just appellate arbitral process.

Traditionally, courts use narrowly-defined statutory grounds to set aside an arbitration award. Alternatively, these new rules provide for an appeal within the arbitration process. The appellate arbitral panel applies a standard of review more expansive than that allowed by existing federal and state statutes to vacate an award.  In this regard, the optional rules were developed for the types of large, complex cases where the parties think the ability to appeal is particularly important. 

Quick Facts about the Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules:

  • Parties may use these rules only when there is an agreement of the parties, either by contract or stipulation.
  • Parties are permitted to appeal on the grounds that the underlying award is based on errors of law that are material and prejudicial and/or on determinations of fact that are clearly erroneous.
  • Appeals generally will be determined upon the written documents submitted by the parties, with no oral argument.
  • The Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules anticipate a process that can be completed in about three months.
  • The Appellate Panel consists of former federal and state judges and neutrals with strong appellate backgrounds.
  • Parties may provide for the AAA’s Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules whether or not the underlying award was conducted pursuant to the AAA’s or ICDR’s rules.