Special Issue – A Threat to Your 7th Amendment Rights
The Arbitration Process is Stacked Against You
You don’t have a choice – most contracts you sign today contain arbitration clauses empowering the business to choose who settles your dispute: Employment contracts, credit card applications, cell phone agreements, auto loans – arbitration is hiding in the fine print. If you don’t want to arbitrate, then you don’t get the product – period. You have the constitutional right to a trial by jury when someone does you wrong. It’s guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment. However, you waive that right everytime you sign an agreement that contains an arbitration provision.
Courts have gone so far as to hold that you can waive your Constitutional right to a trial by jury of your peers, even if you never saw the ‘arbitration agreement.’
Would you allow a Defendant on trial for murder to handpick and pay the judge?
Costs are Enormous
It can cost you thousands of dollars to file your claim in arbitration:
- thousands just to file your claim (versus $200 to file in Court).
- the arbitrator charges $100 – $450 per hour.
- will you have enough left over to hire a lawyer?
Can you afford these costs when your claim is against your former employer for wrongful discharge? Or when your claim is against your credit card company for illegal debt collection?
75% of consumers didn’t know they signed away their 7th Amendment Rights!
Difficult to Prove Your Claim
If you bring a claim, most of the evidence you need is held by the defendant. In Court, the judge will order the defendant to give you these documents. In arbitration, the arbitrator cannot make the defendant give you necessary documents to prove your case. Courts have to provide an order based on the law. Arbitrators can make a ruling without any findings of fact and don’t have to release the ruling publicly. And, except in limited cases, there is no appeal.
Arbitration Only Benefits Big Businesses and Banks – Not Consumers
Arbitrators are private lawyers who need to make money if most of their clients are employers and big banks, will they be worried about keeping their biggest clients happy, even if it means hurting your case? Especially when you cannot appeal?
Always review your contracts for arbitration agreements. Some agreements allow you to ‘opt out’ by sending a letter within 30 days.
Forced Arbitration Hurts Us All
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