Do I Have to go to Arbitration?
“I wanted to go to trial, but the other party says I have to go to arbitration. Is it true?”
Many times when you go to a doctor’s office, hospital, medical provider, car dealer, or you enter into a contract for construction, and in many, and growing, areas and concerns, you are asked to sign a variety of papers. One may include an Arbitration Clause, an agreement to have any disputes resolved by arbitration, rather than trial. You may be waiving your right to a judge and/or a jury, and you may be completely and effectively waiving your rights as to all proceedings in court. Such agreements can be binding; however, challenges to the effectiveness and binding nature of arbitration clauses have been successful in some instances.
Is all lost if I am bound to go to arbitration and have waived my rights to go to court?
As stated in an earlier article, an arbitration is an abbreviated method of resolving cases. It can be very advantageous as to certain issues, expense and time; and it can be disadvantageous as to certain issues, approaches, and types of cases.
Our advice? If you can avoid it, do not sign an agreement to arbitrate. If you can cross that portion of the document out, or not agree to it by not checking the box that applies, preserve your rights to a judge and jury of your peers.
If you signed a document agreeing to arbitration, sometimes you can notify the other party (usually in writing) that you withdraw that agreement (usually within a very brief period of time), and, if that applies, take advantage of it and withdraw or void the agreement.
If you have any questions about arbitrations or the arbitration process, please do not hesitate to give us a call today at (951) 682-6400.