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Question DetailsAsked on 12/5/2017

Should contractual demands for mandatory arbitration be a basis for negative comments in a review?

Requiring mandatory arbitration without including the customer in the choice of arbiters and making the process unnecessarily expensive could seem a lot like stacking-the-deck. Doesn't it indicate a lack of confidence in a contractor's capabilities, if he is afraid of taking his case to court or accepting even handed arbitration?
Isn't requiring mandatory arbitration like saying, "If you want me to do this work for you, then you must give up your constitutional right to a trial by jury"? Seems much like a customer saying, "If you want me to pay you to do work for me, I expect you to sign away your right to sue or hire a collection agency.
US law presumes that a contract is an agreement between EQUALS, not some edict by whoever has the most money.

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Certainly yes in my book, especially if it does not hve the normal arbitrator selection criteria where if both parties propose one or more and then if both parties cannot agree on one, they each choose one and those two then choose a neutral third party arbitrator to hear the case. Generally, arbitration is defined as having to be by the American Arbitration Association or JAMS (where arbitration is done by retired judges).


Arbitration is commonly a lot cheaper and quicker than going to court, not more expensive - but, especially with binding arbitration (which you cannot challenge in court) can lead to some shocking results, not that wacky findings do not come out of courts too.


But binding arbitration in a normal small residential contract is unusual and would be a red flag for me - and would have to phrased such that it does NOT have to be invoked before one can file a claim against the contractor's Bond for non-performance or poor performance. Sometimes it is phrased to specifically remove the Bond protection.

Answered 11 months ago by LCD




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