The AAA® provides for fair administration of consumer disputes—and will exercise its authority to decline administration of arbitration demands where an arbitration clause contains material violations of the AAA Consumer Due Process Protocol, developed in 1998 in cooperation with representatives from government agencies, consumer interest groups, education institutions, and businesses.
The goal of the Protocol, in concert with the AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules, is to ensure evenhandedness in the administration of consumer-disputes resolution. These rules apply only to disputes regarding a product or service for personal or household use.
The AAA does not administer consumer debt collection arbitrations as per the Notice on Consumer Debt Collection Arbitrations.
Consumer Mass Arbitrations are those cases where the American Arbitration Association® (AAA) determines in its sole discretion that the following conditions are met:
- Twenty-five (25) or more similar demands for arbitration or requests for mediation are filed against or on behalf of the same party or related parties;
- Representation of the parties is consistent or coordinated across the cases; and,
- The Employment/Workplace Fee Schedule or the Consumer Fee Schedule applies.
In the context of consumer dispute resolution, the American Arbitration Association is unsurpassed in its expertise. The AAA administers thousands of consumer arbitrations every year, not including Mass Arbitrations. The AAA’s panel of arbitrators is experienced in deciding consumer claims and is larger and more geographically diverse than any other dispute resolution provider.
As a not-for-profit entity, the AAA is committed to ensuring that its fees do not interfere with its mission of fair, effective, efficient and economical dispute resolution.
As the leader in this field, the AAA developed the Mass Arbitration Supplementary Rules to streamline the administration of Mass Arbitrations. The Rules and the additional guidance to parties on measures to consider for saving time and cost in a Mass Arbitration are intended to provide parties and their representatives with a fair, effective, efficient and economical path toward the resolution of Mass Arbitrations.
For more information, including the AAA’s requirements for filing a Mass Arbitration, please click here.
Click here to read the Today’s General Counsel article - How has Mass Arbitration Evolved and Where is it Going? - featuring AAA Vice President Neil B. Currie.
The online Registry was created to provide access to information about the AAA’s consumer arbitration services. The Registry lists businesses whose consumer arbitration clauses have been submitted for review by the AAA and determined to substantially and materially comply with the due process standards of the AAA Consumer Due Process Protocol.
Parties can search businesses by name to determine if the AAA has reviewed their consumer arbitration clause and if the AAA will administer their case, as well as to view the approved arbitration clause.
If a business has not registered its consumer clause prior to the filing of a consumer case, the AAA requires that it do so at that time. For more information about the Consumer Clause Registry, please see R-12 of the Consumer Arbitration Rules.
AAA Consumer and Employment Arbitration Statistics
The AAA maintains an online Consumer and Employment Arbitration Statistics report based on AAA consumer cases closed within the last five years. This report is made available pursuant to state statutes such as the California Code of Civil Procedure §1281.96, Maryland Commercial Law §§ 14-3901 to 3905 and New Jersey Statutes § 2A:23B-1 et seq. and updated quarterly, as required by law.
AAA Arbitrator Demographic Data
Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §1281.96, the AAA maintains Arbitrator Demographic Data, reported in the aggregate, relative to ethnicity, race, disability, veteran status, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation of all arbitrators as self-reported by the arbitrators as well as the percentage of arbitrators who declined to respond.
The Searle Civil Justice Institute Report on Consumer Arbitration surveyed AAA consumer arbitration cases for costs, speed, and outcomes of consumer arbitrations.
To watch Law Professor C. R. Drahozal speak about the Searle Report, click here.