The American Arbitration Association (AAA) and its international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) announced that no hearings will take place in AAA-ICDR hearing facilities until at least April 17. Case management staff will contact parties and arbitrators to discuss alternative arrangements, including the use of video, teleconferencing, or postponements. To the extent in-person hearings may be taking place outside AAA-ICDR’s facilities, parties, arbitrators, and mediators must consult city, state, federal, and other applicable regulations and guidance to determine their impact on the hearing. Parties, arbitrators, and mediators must also promptly raise concerns about their participation resulting from limitations on travel imposed or urged by governmental and regulatory authorities.
As of the time of this blog post, JAMS had not announced a universal postponement of scheduled hearings. An announcement similar to the AAA’s announcement is expected. On March 17, JAMS issued an update on the impact of COVID-19 to its operations. JAMS announced that it had shifted its staff to a remote work structure and its neutrals and staff will utilize technology, including video conferencing services, to enable parties to participate and engage remotely in mediations and arbitrations. This was the last update from JAMS on COVID-19.
Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on arbitration and will provide updates on our blog.