The Needs of the Many: Confidentiality versus Transparency in Arbitration

One of the major “selling points” of arbitration as an alternative to litigation has always been the confidentiality of the process: Whereas litigation becomes part of the public record, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are considered expressions of autonomy: Both parties agree voluntarily to handle their disputes in a certain way.  As a result, privacy is often assumed as arbitration is a private negotiation. [Read more…]

Keeping the Arbitration Clause Applicable: Avoiding Unconscionability

arbitration agreements

It’s long been a humorous observation that Americans are litigation-happy, but in many ways, it’s based in truth: When Americans feel they have been treated poorly, they often seek redress in the courts.  No group on the country knows this more keenly than employers, who have, in recent years, sought to stem the tide of employment-related litigation with the inclusion of binding arbitration agreements in employee contracts.

The key to these arbitration clauses, however, is making them applicable when the time comes: Few employees dispute these clauses at the moment they accept employment, but many seek to invalidate them when they want to file a suit.  It’s a turbulent time in the law when it comes to the relatively novel use of these arbitration clauses, and nothing seems settled – but the single biggest threat to your arbitration clause is the test of unconscionability. [Read more…]

What is Employment Arbitration?

Employment arbitration is typically used within the work force.  It can be requested by either an employer or an employee.

Occasionally an employee will request an arbitrator to review benefits, or if they feel that the employer has breached a contract they will seek out an arbitrator.  Alternatively, an employer may seek out an arbitrator if they are making a controversial demotion.  There are many reasons why workers seek arbitration. [Read more…]

Arbitration – A third party helper

Arbitration is a legal term that refers to the handling of a dispute.  When two sides of a party cannot come to a decision on their own they may hire an arbitrator, or they may be forced to hire one.  An arbitrator’s job is to come up with an agreement that will be fair to both parties.  Whatever the arbitrator decides is legally binding.

This process of arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and has many benefits.  [Read more…]