The American Arbitration Association (AAA) [7.4.1]

Untitled Document The AAA has developed an arbitration program in conjunction with the U.S. Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) for the wireless industry and its customers. AAA includes, as members of its Telecommunications Panel, individuals that are competent to hear and adjudicate disputes administered under the Wireless Industry Arbitration Rules. These individuals are neutral parties, and many have direct experience in the telecommunications industry.

The rules contain three tracks: Regular Track Procedures; Fast Track Procedures for cases involving claims of less than USD 2,000; and Large/Complex Case Track Procedures for cases involving claims of at least USD 500,000.

Regular Track : The Regular Track Procedures apply to cases involving claims between USD 2,000 and 500,000. They also apply in Fast Track and Large/Complex cases where they do not conflict with any portion of the Fast Track Procedures or the Large/Complex Case Procedures. Features of the Regular Track Procedures include:

  • optional pre-arbitration mediation and/or early neutral evaluation;
  • express arbitrator authority to control the discovery process;
  • broad arbitrator authority to control the hearing; and
  • written breakdowns of the award and, if requested in a timely manner by all parties or at the discretion of the arbitrator, a written explanation of the award.

Fast Track : The Fast Track Procedures apply to cases involving claims of less than USD 2,000. Features of these procedures include:

  • a 45-day “time standard” for case completion;
  • an expedited arbitrator appointment process, with a single arbitrator appointed directly by the AAA from the Telecommunications Panel; and
  • a presumption that cases involving less than USD 2,000 will be heard based on documents only, with an option of an oral hearing for an additional fee.

Large/Complex Case Track : Large/Complex Case Procedures, which supplement Regular Track Procedures, are for use in cases involving claims of at least USD 500,000. Key features of the Large/Complex Case Track Procedures include:

  • mandatory pre-arbitration mediation and/or early neutral evaluation;
  • a presumption of multiple arbitrators;
  • a mandatory preliminary hearing with the arbitrators, which may be conducted by telephone;
  • broad arbitrator authority to order discovery, including depositions; and
  • a presumption that there will be multiple hearing days scheduled consecutively or in blocks of hearing days.[1]

ENDNOTES

[1] Wireless Industry Arbitration Rules, American Arbitration Association, effective July 1, 2003. A summary of the Wireless Industry Arbitration Rules can be found at: http://www.adr.org.

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