Self-representation means representing yourself in a legal matter, such as an arbitration case. When you are self-represented in an arbitration, you will speak and act for yourself without hiring a lawyer. A self-represented party can be either an individual person representing themselves or a business person who is not a lawyer representing the business. In arbitration, you don't have to have a lawyer represent you (unless state law requires it), but it's important to know that arbitration is a final and binding process that can affect your rights. So, if you are considering representing yourself, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer. If you do decide to go through arbitration without a lawyer, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has resources to educate you. These resources aim to help you understand how arbitration works and make it easier for you to use the AAA forms and rules. It is important to note that the AAA's role in an arbitration case is limited to handling administrative aspects of the case, such as appointing the arbitrator and managing associated fees. The AAA and/or the arbitrator do not assist parties in presenting their cases and cannot offer or provide legal advice to any party

The American Arbitration Association’s Self-Represented Case Administration Team
The AAA has a special team called the Self-Represented Case Administration Team (Team). They handle cases where one or more parties -- people or businesses -- represent themselves. The Team is made up of experienced AAA case administrators who know a lot about working with self-represented parties. They provide case management services to meet the unique needs of self-represented parties.

To make sure the arbitration process is efficient, effective, and fair, all of the Team’s messages and communications with the arbitration parties are in writing (but the arbitrator may talk with the parties in person, over video, or on the phone). This way, the parties can focus on the important matters in the case, they can take time to respond to what others have said, and both sides will stay up-to-date on the case by receiving copies of all case communications. The Self-Represented Case Administration Team handles cases involving Commercial, Construction, Consumer, and Employment Disputes. You can use the resources below to learn more about how the arbitration process works. Even attorneys might find these resources helpful!

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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 
Self-Represented 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 
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