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The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization in the field of alternative dispute resolution, providing services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court, and one of several arbitration organizations that administers arbitration proceedings. The AAA also administers mediation through Mediation.org and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. It is headquartered in New York City.
The International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), established in 1996 by the AAA, administers international arbitration proceedings initiated under the institution's rules. ICDR currently (as of 2007[update]) has offices in New York City, Dublin, Mexico City, and Singapore.
Many contracts include an arbitration clause naming the AAA as the organization that will administer arbitration between the parties. The AAA does not itself arbitrate disputes, but provides administrative support to arbitrations before a single arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators. The arbitrators are chosen in accordance with the parties' agreement or, if the parties do not agree otherwise, in accordance with the AAA rules. Under its rules, the AAA may appoint an arbitrator in some circumstances, for example, where the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator or a party fails to exercise its right to appoint an arbitrator.
The AAA role in the dispute resolution process is to administer cases, from filing to closing. The AAA provides administrative services in the U.S., as well as abroad through its International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR). The AAA's and ICDR's administrative services include assisting in the appointment of mediators and arbitrators, setting hearings, and providing users with information on dispute resolution options, including settlement through mediation. Ultimately, the AAA aims to move cases through arbitration or mediation in a fair and impartial manner until completion.
Additional AAA services include the design and development of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems for corporations, unions, government agencies, law firms, and the courts. The Association also provides elections services as well as education, training, and publications for those seeking a broader or deeper understanding of alternative dispute resolution.
In April 2013, the New York State Department of Financial Services hired the AAA to host mediation sessions between insurance companies and Hurricane Sandy victims.