The American Arbitration Association® (AAA) is proud to announce the updated Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, reflecting our commitment to efficiency, modern technology adoption and the evolving demands of the construction industry. These updates, effective March 1, 2024, were developed with extensive input from the National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee, advocates, in-house counsel, arbitrators and industry professionals from across the nation.

Embracing Current and Emerging Technologies

In an effort to stay ahead of technological advancements and streamline our processes, we've updated our Rules to reflect the digital age. We've phased out the necessity for fax numbers, simplifying communications by mandating the inclusion of email addresses for all respondent parties, including those sought to be joined. This ensures that our arbitration procedures remain relevant and efficient, leveraging current and emerging technologies without the need for future amendments.

Regular Track Procedures

  • AAA and Delegation of Duties: We've added a new subsection (b), reinforcing the commitment of parties and their representatives to adhere to the AAA’s Standards of Conduct, ensuring integrity and professionalism throughout the arbitration process (R-2).
  • Consolidation and Joinder: To align with the AAA’s administrative process and set clear expectations, we've refined the procedures for consolidation and joinder. Key amendments include:
    • Consolidation and joinder requests must be filed before the Merits Arbitrator's appointment is confirmed, removing the previous 90-day filing option.
    • A 14-day window for responses to consolidation requests.
    • Specific filing guidance for joinder requests.
    • Revised standards for requesting consolidation or joinder after the Merits Arbitrator's confirmation (R-7).
  • Arbitrator Appointment: Enhancements in arbitrator appointment rules grant the AAA authority to limit party strikes and clarify requirements for party-appointed arbitrators, ensuring expertise and alignment with the AAA's standards (R-14 & R-15).
  • Preliminary Management Hearing: Acknowledging the flexibility required in modern arbitrations, the revisions specifically recognize that preliminary hearings may take place via videoconferencing, alongside traditional in-person or telephone formats (R-23).
  • Communication and Confidentiality Measures: Several rules have been amended to introduce more flexible communication methods, confidentiality mandates, electronic signatures for awards and revised guidelines for emergency measures, dispositive motions and sanctions, among others. These changes aim to enhance efficiency, security and fairness in the arbitration process (R-29, R-34, R-39, R-44, R-45, R-48, R-52, R-59, R-60).
Fast Track Procedures

  • Fast Track Applicability: The ceiling for Fast Track eligibility has been raised to cases where claims or counterclaims do not exceed $150,000, expanding access to expedited procedures (F-1).
  • Exchange of Information and Discovery: A streamlined rule now encompasses both information exchange and discovery, emphasizing efficiency and limiting motions to instances of demonstrated good cause (F-8).
  • Form of Award: This new procedure specifies that Fast Track case awards will be in the form of a standard award, allowing parties to request a more detailed award but such request may result in the case’s being transitioned out of the Fast Track Procedures. (F-13).
Procedures for Large, Complex Construction Disputes

  • Arbitrators: Reflecting the evolving scale of construction disputes, the default threshold for appointing a three-arbitrator panel has been raised to cases exceeding $3 million (L-3).

These updates signify our commitment to providing a modern, efficient and fair arbitration process. By adapting to technological advances and refining our procedures, we ensure that our arbitration services meet the current and future needs of all parties involved.

This comprehensive update enhances the arbitration and mediation process within the construction industry, promoting efficiency, clarity, and the effective resolution of disputes.

View the amended AAA Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures.

Click here to view the complete Summary of Changes for the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules.

Registration closes today at 5:00 PM ET

Who Should Attend: Arbitrators, advocates, academics, and anyone interested in the dynamics of arbitration.