Construction Arbitration Is Too Lengthy & Costly. The AAA Hopes to Fix That.


N.C. Construction Law, Policy & News

As I noted last November, there’s a growing concern among construction industry stakeholders and others that arbitration too often fails to serve its intended purpose as a speedy, less costly and more streamlined alternative to civil litigation.  This rising chorus has complained that pre-hearing discovery is too extensive and drawn out, the hearings themselves take too long, and at the end of the day, no meaningful cost savings are actually achieved.

The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) is taking those concerns seriously.  Last June, it rolled out its shiny new Supplementary Rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration, intended “to provide an arbitration process that will be predictable in terms of total time and cost,” particularly for cases “with discrete issues that would benefit from limited document exchange and discovery.”

Here are five key features of the new rules:

1.  They only apply to two-party disputes, although this limitation does…

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