The American Arbitration Association (AAA) and our international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), are fully committed to administering disputes under various contingencies that have resulted from COVID-19. At the same time, given the AAA-ICDR’s presence and interaction with individuals and organizations around the world, our primary concern is for the well-being of our employees, parties, arbitrators, mediators and others who use our services.

While the AAA-ICDR remains active and operational, no hearings will take place in AAA-ICDR hearing facilities until at least June 1, 2020. In cities where governmental authorities have shut down activities, our physical offices will be closed immediately. Our case management staff will contact parties and arbitrators to discuss alternative arrangements, including the use of video, teleconferencing or postponements.

The spread of the COVID-19 crisis has caused major business disruptions throughout the United States and the world, especially in major cities where many parties, counsel, arbitrators and mediators are located. The AAA-ICDR is complying with city, state and federal guidance to keep the virus from spreading as much as possible. To contribute to this effort, the AAA-ICDR is suspending operations and all non-essential in-person activity in our offices throughout the United States, as are the courts in most jurisdictions. However, we emphasize that except for our hearing facilities, all our case, IT, and finance operations continue to function.

The following provides an overview of the actions the AAA-ICDR has taken and additional measures that may be implemented as we closely monitor developments related to the outbreak.

Online Filing

We strongly encourage all parties and their representatives to proceed in filing their arbitration and mediation cases–but to file them online to reduce the amount of paper necessary for handling and to help facilitate the recommended social distancing. Please click here to learn more.

Business Continuity Capabilities

The AAA-ICDR previously incorporated business continuity planning into our operations, and we have updated that planning on a continuing basis so that we can continue our work as seamlessly as possible under circumstances such as the spread of COVID-19. That planning includes providing for backup servers and redundancies and security in our IT and finance capabilities, in addition to anticipating that employees in one or more locations would not be able to access AAA-ICDR offices. Many aspects of our business continuity plans have already been implemented, which will enable us to continue to administer arbitrations and mediations as seamlessly as possible.

Hearings

To the extent in-person hearings may be taking place outside the AAA-ICDR’s facilities, the following guidance is provided:

• Parties, arbitrators and mediators must consult city, state and federal and other applicable
  regulations and guidance to determine their impact on the hearing.

• Parties, arbitrators, mediators and others involved in scheduled hearings must promptly raise
  with each other and the AAA-ICDR any concerns about their participation resulting from
  limitations on travel imposed or urged by governmental and regulatory authorities. Sensitivity
  to individuals who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 must be taken into consideration when
  considering alternative hearing arrangements.

• AAA-ICDR case management staff will promptly coordinate calls to address any concerns
  raised about participation in hearings. The AAA-ICDR is also actively monitoring our hearing
  docket, and we will be proactively reaching out on some cases to raise these issues.

• Individuals with any of the following cannot attend in-person hearings. Guidance from
  organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization
  will also determine if certain individuals can attend hearings:

o Those with a fever, cough, shortness of breath, symptoms of respiratory distress, or
   other symptoms of an illness.

o Individuals travelling from an affected area experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks or
   widespread transmission as defined by organizations such as the World Health
   Organization and the Centers for Disease Control.

o Those who have been in direct contact with someone known to have COVID-19.

Alternative Hearing Capabilities

The AAA-ICDR can assist with alternative hearing arrangements, including the use of video teleconferencing that will allow for remote participation in hearings. Online video, teleconferencing, internet communication and means other than in-person can facilitate a full and equal opportunity for all parties to present evidence in a hearing.

Please contact your case management staff with any questions you may have about your case.

Questions?

Please fill out the form below if you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 update.

Featured Panelists


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Catharine Biggs Arrowood
Parker Poe
North Carolina
United States

Hugh J. Bell, Jr.
Henning Mediation &
Arbitration Services, Inc.
Georgia
United States

Raymond G. Bender
Independent Arbitrator & Mediator
Washington D.C.
United States

Fred G. Bennett
Quinn Emanuel
California
United States


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Marc Borello
Independent Arbitrator & Mediator
Roquefort les Pins
France

Thomas Brewer
Independent Arbitrator
Washington
United States

Gerry F. Doyle
Doyle & Bachman
Washington D.C.
United States

Allen B. Green
Dentons
Washington D.C.
United States


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Hon. Faith S. Hochberg
Judge Hochberg ADR
New York
United States

Kathryn J. Humphrey
Dykema
Michigan
United States

Paul Klaas
Independent Arbitrator & Mediator
Minneapolis
United States

Steve Koh
Perkins Coie
Washington
United States


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Sharon L. Larkin
Larkin Ferrell
Washington D.C.
United States

Pamela Meredith
Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger
Washington D.C.
United States

Elliot Polebaum
Independent Arbitrator
Washington D.C.
United States

Kara M. Sacilotto
Wiley Rein
Washington D.C.
United States


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Lawrence Schaner
Schaner Dispute Resolution
Illinois
United States

Lester Schiefelbein
Independent Arbitrator & Mediator
California
United States

Milton “Skip” Smith
Sherman & Howard
Colorado
United States

Stephen Smith
Independent Arbitrator
Colorado
United States


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Edna Sussman
Sussman ADR
New York
United States

Wolf von Kumberg
Independent Arbitrator & Mediator
London
United Kingdom

Kellye L. Walker
Huntington Ingalls Industries
Virginia
United States

Richard Ziegler
Jenner & Block
New York
United States



For more information, please contact either vice president below or fill out the form above.                                                                                   
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Steve K. Andersen, Esq.

Vice President, ICDR
Los Angeles, CA
+1.213.271.9915  |  [email protected]

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Andrew Barton

Vice President, AAA
San Antonio, TX
+1.210.998.5750  |  [email protected]