What if There’s an Arbitration Clause In Your Contract?
A California business litigation lawyer can provide assistance in resolving disputes that arise affecting your company. When businesses contact a litigation lawyer, they may assume their attorney will be providing them with assistance during court proceedings. This can, in fact, happen as an experienced litigator is always prepared to enforce your rights and make effective arguments in a court of law.
Increasingly, however, disputes end up not being resolved in court but instead are resolved through arbitration. Arbitration is sometimes a preferable method of resolving a business disagreement and you may want to arbitrate your dispute.
However, there are also circumstances in which you are effectively forced into arbitration because you have signed a contract with an arbitration clause. If this happens to you, you must ensure you have an experienced Orange County business litigation lawyer who can fight for your interests in arbitration or who can help you to argue that your arbitration clause should not be enforced.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP is ready to represent clients during litigation and can provide clients with advocacy during arbitration as well. Our legal team is not just prepared to fight for your rights before a judge or jury but can also help you to put together a convincing case for arbitration. Give us a call to find out more about the ways in which our legal team can help you whenever a dispute has arisen that impacts your business.
What Happens if There is an Arbitration Clause in Your Contract?
If you are involved in a dispute with someone that you or your company has a contractual relationship with, you need to determine if there is an arbitration clause in your contract. Arbitration clauses are found in many construction contracts; in many contracts for the sale of consumer and business products; in contracts between employers and employees or between co-owners of a company; and in many other situations. These clauses have become increasingly common and if you have a contract, there is a good chance there is an arbitration clause in it.
When there is an arbitration clause in the contract, that usually means you will not be able to sue but instead must resolve your disagreement before an arbitrator. The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) has largely preempted state law to ensure arbitration agreements are enforced in almost all cases. The FAA has been interpreted broadly by courts in recent years so even arbitration clauses which many states used to prohibit, such as clauses that included class action waivers, are now considered acceptable and enforceable.
If an arbitration clause is enforced, an arbitrator will preside over the process used for dispute resolution. Your arbitration agreement may set forth the specifics for how this process is supposed to work. In some cases, the process is a formal process that is similar to a court of law. In other situations, the arbitration is less formal. However, in every case, you will need to present evidence and make your case to the arbitrator to try to convince the arbitrator to find in your favor and to determine your preferred resolution to the disagreement is the right resolution.
When the arbitrator issues a ruling, the decision of the arbitrator is generally going to be considered binding. This means the parties to the dispute are going to have to follow the orders of the arbitrator. It may be possible to appeal, but the court is not going to change or overturn decisions made by an arbitrator unless there was a problem with the arbitration process.
If you do not wish to arbitrate your dispute, you can try to argue to a judge before arbitration begins that the contract and/or the arbitration clause should not be considered valid and enforceable. However, because the courts have broadly interpreted laws in favor of arbitration, it is very difficult to get an arbitration clause overturned.
Getting Help from A California Business Litigation Lawyer
An Orange County business litigation lawyer can provide you with assistance arguing that an arbitration clause should not be enforced. If you are going to resolve your dispute during the arbitration process, an experienced attorney can provide you with assistance in trying to convince the arbitrator to find in your favor.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has extensive experience providing assistance to individuals and businesses who must resolve their disputes during the arbitration process. Give us a call at 714-505-3000 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which our legal team can assist you.