My NYLJ Article Critiquing the AAA Standard Arbitration Clause

Today’s issue of the New York Law Journal contains my article “The AAA Standard Arbitration Clause: Room for Improvement.” Click here to go to a pdf copy. (It’s also available here if you subscribe to the New York Law Journal.)

It was fun to write, and here’s why:

  • I got to revisit a topic, arising out of or relating to, that I’ve worried at inconclusively in several blog posts.
  • The provision in question raises a great categories-of-contract-language issue. Regular readers will know that I regard mastery of categories of contract language to be the foundation of controlled drafting.
  • I was able to demonstrate that even if in your review of contract language you’re limited to examining how you say something, not what you say, you can still make drastic improvements.
  • And I was able harbor the illusion that I was somehow sticking it to The Man.

In case it isn’t obvious, in the article I don’t consider what topics should be included in an arbitration provision. Instead, I limited myself to offering a redraft of the AAA standard abitration clause.

This is the first “traditional media” article I’ve written in just over a year. This blog gives me a big enough soapbox to stand on that these days I generally don’t feel inclined to seek other outlets. But this was a juicy topic, and I thought it might appeal to a broader-than-normal audience. And I knew that the prospect of extra scrutiny would focus my mind.

I don’t expect that this article will be my last word on this topics addressed in it. I welcome any comments.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.