The American Arbitration Association has adopted new rules for commercial arbitration effective October 1, 2013. They include a requirement that there shall be a mediation in all cases where the claim exceeds $75,000 unless one of the parties opts-out of the requirement. The complete rule is as follows:
In all cases where a claim or counterclaim exceeds $75,000, upon the AAA’s administration of the arbitration or at any time while the arbitration is pending, the parties shall mediate their dispute pursuant to the applicable provisions of the AAA’s Commercial Mediation Procedures, or as otherwise agreed by the parties. Absent an agreement of the parties to the contrary, the mediation shall take place concurrently with the arbitration and shall not serve to delay the arbitration proceedings. However, any party to an arbitration may unilaterally opt out of this rule upon notification to the AAA and the other parties to the arbitration. The parties shall confirm the completion of any mediation or any decision to opt out of this rule to the AAA. Unless agreed to by all parties and the mediator, the mediator shall not be appointed as an arbitrator to the case.
Download the complete revised AAA Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures (PDF).