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Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employers are having increasingly more problems dealing with pending arbitration hearings. Timely settlement of disputes in arbitration, especially those involving payments, is becoming the number one priority for them. However, numerous arbitrations may prevent them from managing their own companies. So, what’s the solution?

Getting legal advice pertaining to alternative dispute resolution methods? We’ll give you a hand with initiating an arbitration in the US during the ongoing pandemic via video conferencing.

Settling Commercial Disputes Through Virtual Arbitration in the USA

The AAA and FMCS have suggested using virtual arbitration to resolve commercial disputes in the US. Of course, the arbiter should be able to manage a virtual arbitration, and that, in turn, will require knowing their way around online video conferencing.

Conducting hearings via videoconferencing dramatically reduces or cuts costs and ensures more flexibility regarding the time and place of the proceedings. However, resolving a commercial conflict through arbitration in America via video conferencing can impede the ability of participants to use body language, which is very significant in lending credibility.

NAA Releases Virtual Arbitration Opinion

April 2020 saw the NAA publish Opinion 26 dealing with the question of whether an arbitration process can be initiated in the United States and Canada via video conferencing, given that the other party has raised an objection. 

  • The NAA ruled that it is important for the parties to reach mutual understanding in matters pertaining to arbitration of labor disputes in the US. However, the document also draws attention to the fact that a full or partial hearing is possible without the parties reaching a mutually acceptable deal.
  • The NAA also suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic renders impossible the presence of the parties during proceedings, which makes videohearings a viable option.

Initiating commercial proceedings through arbitration in the US requires putting forward convincing arguments.


Employers have every reason to opt for conducting arbitration through video conferencing in the US. At the same time, FMCS, which holds arbitration hearings on human resources management in the US and Canada, includes some one hundred and fifty judges proficient in the use of video equipment. It is now enabling parties to put in a request for a panel of such judges.

For legal advicn how to initiate an arbitration hearing in the US, contact IQ Decision UK.