The American Arbitration Association has made some needed updates to their Construction Industry Arbitration and Mediation Rules, effective July 1, 2015. Among the changes listed at their website are:
- A mediation step for all cases with claims of $100,000 or more (subject to the ability of any party to opt out).
- Consolidation and joinder time frames and filing requirements to streamline these increasingly involved issues in construction arbitrations.
- New preliminary hearing rules to provide more structure and organization to get the arbitration process on the right track from the beginning.
- Information exchange measures to give arbitrators a greater degree of control to limit the exchange of information, including electronic documents.
- Availability of emergency measures of protection in contracts that have been entered into on or after July 1, 2015.
- Enforcement power of the arbitrator to issue orders to parties that refuse to comply with the Rules or the arbitrator’s orders.
- Permissibility of dispositive motions to dispose of all or part of a claim or to narrow the issue in a claim.