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LOS ANGELES — Arbitrations in the Los Angeles region rose 16% last year, the highest percentage increase in the nation last year, according to a recentstudy by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The increase is the highest for Los Angeles, where for the past five yearsarbitrations have risen by double digits, said Michael Powell, vicepresident of the AAA’s Los Angeles Regional Office. Why the jump? “The only thing we can put our fingers on is the increase in mediation,”Powell said. “We think all the attention put on ADR (alternative disputeresolution) in California has made a difference in companies that aredrafting contracts and including arbitration clauses.” The increase was especially prevalent in the entertainment and health careindustries, he said. In 2006, arbitrations in those industries rose 50% and48%, respectively. “Entertainment and health care are new areas of businessfor us,” he said. In addition, AAA’s revenue in Los Angeles County rose 20% last year becausethe office handled more cases worth at least $1 million, he said.

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