Answers about Arbitration

We discussed arbitration in our blogs this week. We wanted to end the week by addressing some common questions about arbitration. You should address any specific questions to an experienced arbitration attorney.

Is there an arbitration clause in your contract?

When signing a contract, look for an arbitration clause somewhere in the document. If the benefits to arbitration outweigh the drawbacks, the arbitration clause probably makes sense. In other cases, removing the arbitration clause might be an option.

What type of contract are you signing?

If the contract pertains to a business or consumer transaction, arbitration might be the better choice. However, employment contracts might be a situation where you should consult an attorney before signing one containing an arbitration clause. Any contract involving your personal rights, as opposed to a business entity, will have a direct effect on you.

Do you have the ability to negotiate the arbitration clause?

Unfortunately, many consumer contracts do not give you the option to remove the arbitration clause. The contract you signed for your cell phone likely contained an arbitration clause. Refusing to sign the contract will most likely leave you without a cell phone plan. In these cases, it is usually a “take it or leave it” situation.

Do you have a dispute that mandates arbitration?

One Response to Answers about Arbitration

  1. This post could prove to be especially timely with the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. That decision allowed corporations to write consumer contracts blocking class action lawsuits and forcing many consumers to have to settle disputes through arbitration. As you say in this post, arbitration is now often the only option for most consumers to resolve their disputes, and the New York Times recently reported that at least 76 class action lawsuits were prevented from moving ahead because of the Concepcion decision.

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