AAA Commercial Rules—procedure
Produced in partnership with Tim Tyler and Aislinn Affinito of Vinson & Elkins LLP Houston & DC

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Tim Tyler and Aislinn Affinito of Vinson & Elkins LLP Houston & DC provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • AAA Commercial Rules—procedure
  • Timeline
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Pleadings
  • Default
  • Time limits and calculation
  • Dispositive motions
  • Hearings
  • Timing/duration of hearings
  • Reopening of hearing
  • More...

AAA Commercial Rules—procedure

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Many arbitral organisations have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with practical guidance and/or changes to their usual procedures and ways of working. For information on how this content and relevant arbitration proceedings may be impacted, see Practice Note: Arbitral organisations and coronavirus (COVID-19)—practical impact. For additional information, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arbitration—overview.

The AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures including the Procedures for Large, Complex Commercial Disputes (the AAA Commercial Rules) were revised with effect from 1 October 2013. This Practice Note reflects the revised Commercial Rules. A Fee Schedule applies to Commercial Rules arbitrations (effective 1 May 2018).

For an introduction to the AAA and the Commercial Rules, see Practice Note: AAA Commercial Rules.

Note: each of the Commercial Rules is prefixed by a letter, eg 'R' or 'L'. Relevant rule letters/numbers are set out below.


According to the AAA, Commercial Rules arbitrations generally proceed along the timeline below, though time frames may vary. While some deadlines are set by the Commercial Rules, the arbitrator(s) have broad authority to set appropriate deadlines, require written submissions, or conduct various hearings, any of which may expedite or delay proceedings.

Day 0–15Day 15–60Day 60–112Day 112–217Day 217–218Day 218–267Day 267–297
Filing and initiationArbitrator selectionPreliminary hearingInformation exchange (discovery)HearingsPost-hearing submissionsIssue award

Preliminary hearing

The revised AAA

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