Pro se is a Latin term meaning “on one’s own behalf.” In the context of arbitration, a pro se party is one who represents himself or herself and can also mean a business represented by a person who is not an attorney. While parties are not required to have an attorney to participate in arbitration, arbitration is a final, legally-binding process that may impact a party’s rights. As such, parties may want to consider consulting an attorney. For those parties that decide to participate in arbitration pro se, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has developed numerous resources tailored to educate these parties. The resources offered below are designed to give pro se parties a basic understanding of the arbitration process as well as easy access to commonly used AAA forms and rules.

It is important to keep in mind that the AAA manages only the administrative aspects of the arbitration, such as the appointment of the arbitrator and handling the fees associated with the arbitration. The AAA and/or the arbitrator do not assist the parties in presenting their case. The AAA and/or the arbitrator do not provide legal advice or assistance to the parties and cannot give advice about your case or what documents you should use as evidence.

The American Arbitration Association’s Pro Se Case Administration Team

The AAA utilizes the Pro Se Case Administration Team for administration of cases involving pro se parties. This specialized team is comprised of highly skilled AAA case administrators who are experienced and trained in handling cases involving unrepresented (pro se) parties. Cases handled by this team will receive case management services designed to meet the needs of pro se parties.

To ensure an efficient and fair process, all communications on cases administered by this team are conducted in writing, with the exception of any in-person or telephonic hearings, which are conducted by the arbitrator. This helps parties focus on case issues, gives parties time to respond to submissions from opposing parties, and makes it possible for both parties to be copied on all correspondence.

The Pro Se Case Administration Team administers cases involving Commercial, Construction, Consumer, and Employment Disputes. Please feel free to explore the resources listed below.

Legal Help

If you need legal advice, you should consider consulting with an attorney. Parties to AAA cases are free to consult with an attorney at any time during the process.

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AAA Resources

AAA-ICDR Standards of Conduct for Parties and Representatives 
Pro Se Arbitration Administration Information Sheet
Stages of the Arbitration Process Video Companion Sheet

Commercial Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures 
Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures 
Consumer Arbitration Rules 
Employment Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures 
Home Construction Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures

Answering Statement and Counterclaim 
Commercial Demand for Arbitration 
Construction Demand for Arbitration 
Employment Demand for Arbitration 
Consumer Demand for Arbitration 
Subpoena Duces Tecum 

A Guide to Commercial Mediation and Arbitration for Business People 
Representing Yourself in Employment Arbitration: An Employee's Guide

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Other Resources 
AAA Arbitration Roadmap 
AAA Consumer Arbitration Glossary of Terms 
AAA Policy on Appellate Arbitration Procedures in Consumer Arbitration Matters 
AAA Policy on the Applicability of the Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules to Employment Arbitration
Consumer Arbitration Fact Sheet 
Consumer Arbitration as Administered by the AAA: FAQ 
Consumer Arbitration Reference Sheet
Challenges to an Arbitration Award 
Employment Due Process Protocol  
Locale Determinations for Employment Disputes 
Steps of the Consumer Arbitration Process 
The Americans with Disabilities Act