Arbitration sidesteps the public legal process and instead allows the parties to select a mediator to resolve their dispute.
As the video above shows, each side takes turns presenting their case to a third party. Each side has the opportunity to present evidence and to ask leading questions.
While this may sound like a reasonable approach to problem solving, it is not without its critics. Some people, like the makers of the video below, feel that binding arbitration is a simple way to solve cases.
But these charming kids don’t quite tell the whole story. While some people believe that arbitration provides both sides of a dispute with an opportunity for a speedy hearing, many others including US Senator Al Franken have questioned the fairness of proceedings like arbitration.
While the case Senator Franken is responding to is more complex than we can cover here, there’s actually a rich and ongoing debate amongst legal professionals about arbitration. The binding arbitration video below explores the sides of that debate at length.
The video above mentions that one of the more controversial applications of arbitration has been to the resolution of disputes involving public employees like school teachers. One of the reasons this is so controversial is that many people believe that if the public pays for something, it ought to have access to information about it. Arbitration makes it much easier to keep information about a proceeding out of the public record. That means that it’s very difficult to find out what happens during an arbitration if you aren’t in the room.
As the clip above shows, many other states are debating questions around arbitration. One of the reasons that it is possible to pass laws that dramatically change the way our legal system works, is that these debates are often hard to follow. Without stumbling into a blog like this one or spending time doing research or meeting with professionals, it’s very unlikely that you would learn about this important threat to your right to a trial.
We call it a threat, because like we said earlier, many consumers are unaware that they sign binding arbitration agreements when they purchase a good or use a service. While it is easy for a lawyer to challenge the legality of an arbitration clause, it isn’t always so easy for the average person. If you find that you have questions about binding arbitration, take advantage of a free attorney consultation to learn