Category Archives: Arbitration and ADR

Our arbitration can resolve commercial litigation and business disputes outside of court even in matters involving multiple jurisdictions.

Fixing Arbitration Just Took a Huge Step Forward

Do you remember what forced arbitration is? It’s when a company sneaks a clause into a contract that actually strips you of your right to take it to court. If you sign such a contract, then you would be forced to go to arbitration if you are wronged by the company you signed on with. This kind of clause has been slipped into cellphone contracts, employment contracts and even nursing home contracts. However, a federal lawsuit could change how forced arbitration works, and it all starts with investments. Is Fixing Arbitration Possible? You see, Texas is suing the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) over new fiduciary rules. These rules would force financial advisors to make recommendations in the interest of their clients, and it would force individual insurance agents to become registered investment advisors. But the rules would also prohibit financial advisors from using forced arbitration clauses to keep investors…
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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?…
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The Benefits of Arbitration

If you are involved in a lawsuit, have you considered arbitration as a means of settling the dispute? Depending on your case, it can be an inexpensive way to settle the dispute. Here are some benefits to going forward with arbitration. Parties to a dispute prefer arbitration because it removes them from the formal judicial system and into an informal forum. Whereas litigation can drag on indefinitely and cost thousands of dollars, arbitration is quick and efficient with a more relaxed procedure than a trial. In a non-binding arbitration where the parties can pursue litigation after the arbitrator’s decision, the arbitration gives each side a preview of the strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases. Once parties get a glimpse or a reality check of their case, they might be more inclined to settle before litigation. In addition, the arbitrator is not bound by strict rules of procedure, as a…
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When is Arbitration Better than Litigation?

You might have heard the term “ADR” used by members of the legal profession. ADR stands for “alternative dispute resolution,” and refers to using mediation or arbitration as an alternative to litigation. Did you know that arbitration has been around for over 1,000 years? Merchants from different countries used arbitration as a way to settle disputes because they did not trust each other’s legal systems. Arbitration was a way for them to settle their disputes in with the help of a neutral third party. Today, arbitration still uses a neutral third party or panel to settle a dispute in the place of litigation. Arbitration is a quicker and more efficient than a court battle. Florida mandates that arbitration hearings are informal, testimony kept to a minimum and that each side present their case through documents and their respective attorneys. The arbitration can come about through a contract that requires it…
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Smith Barney Municipal Bond Funds Arbitration Award is Largest Securities Arbitration Award Ever

Sunday’s New York Times business article, “A Crack in Wall Street’s Defenses,” discusses the largest ever securities product arbitration award to individuals. The award, against Smith Barney, compensates individuals who wanted relatively safe investments, municipal bonds, but were sold highly risky arbitraged municipal bond fund portfolios. The only ones benefiting were the brokers, whose commissions were 40 percent of the total fee. The arbitrators rejected all three defenses frequently relied upon by the financial industry: the financial crisis is to blame; wealthy, sophisticated clients understand the risks; and the prospectus warned you about the possibility of loss. They so soundly rejected the defenses that they awarded punitive damages, market-adjusted actual damages and legal fees to the victims of the fraud. This financial products award, and the publicity surrounding the risks of municipal bond funds, is a wonderful result for consumers. It fully substantiates our law firm’s belief that this is…
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