An arbitration agreement is the merchant`s first and best line of defense against class actions. If you think that`s not a sufficient reason, you have a say with the many South Carolina dealers who have been sued in class actions for allegedly inappropriate document fees, who have been able to dismiss the class action, with plaintiffs having claims not being arbitrated. Merchants who did not use any arbitration agreements paid millions of dollars to their clients and clients` lawyers for class actions. A few weeks ago, a customer of a car dealership called to ask if she had a legal problem if she used more than one version of an arbitration agreement in the forms she had submitted to her car buyers. She had obviously checked her forms to look for precisely this problem, and Bingo found that she had a case of “arbitration duel”. For example, in Harshad & Nasir Corporation v. Global Sign Systems, Inc., 14 Cal. App. 5th 523 (2017), the Court of Appeal set aside the Court of Justice`s review of the arbitrator`s decision on the scope of the arbitration agreement. As a general rule, an arbitrator`s decision cannot be reviewed for errors of fact or law, but the parties may restrict an arbitrator`s power by providing for a review of the substantive provision in the arbitration agreement. In this case, the arbitration agreement contained language that required the arbitrator to apply the law of the State of California and the federal state and provided for a review as if the decision had been made by a court. The tribunal therefore held that the agreement allowed for judicial review of the arbitrator`s decision for error of law, held that the arbitrator had erred in law, and held that the arbitrator did not have the power to add parties to an arbitration after one of the parties to the arbitration had expressly reserved the right to seek a court order in the matter. Unfair provisions can make arbitration clauses vulnerable, Bland adds.
For example, most auto arbitration proceedings involve customer claims that the vehicle is a lemon, Naimark says. “Traders say arbitration proceedings are so much fairer and faster than courts,” says Paul Bland, an attorney at Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, a Washington-based group that works with plaintiffs` lawyers. “If they feel that way, why do they push the consumer to do it?” The Court of Appeal also agreed with the Court of Justice that the conflicting provisions contained in the two provisions of the arbitration, including the provisions relating to the possibility of prosecution before the courts, instead of arbitration proceedings, the extent of the claims covered and whether the arbitrator or tribunal has jurisdiction to rule on the validity and extent of the waiver of class action rights, has rendered any arbitration clause unenforceable. “In arbitration, the greatest savings come from (legal) discovery restrictions, because there are few statements in general, if any,” says Aronson. “In a state court, discovery can take nine months or more. The entire arbitration is completed in four to six months. As luck would have it, a New Jersey court looked into this issue in a recent case, and I was able to take advantage of the court`s decision to bring home the point that duel agreements are not a good idea. Here`s what happened at Garden State. Aronson says most of the major trading groups in the Washington area have adopted arbitration. Naimark says trade arbitrations are also gaining popularity in the southeast and on the west coast. The court also noted that clients were not informed of the arbitral tribunal`s disposition, had no chance to negotiate about it, and had to pay more than $10,000 in addition to attorneys` fees to have a case resolved through arbitration.
The court said the arbitration clause was “particularly discreet” on the back of the lease signature page. Jim Appleton, president of the Coalition of New Jersey Auto Retailers, says merchants are more at stake than consumers in the event of a dispute. Many merchants have invested their living savings in a franchise, he says. Recently, several of the national arbitration forums have recognized the injustice of mandatory compulsory arbitration in the consumer context. . . .