Beware of Arbitration Clauses in Contracts: tips for people in Arlington, VA

Posted on: March 21, 2016
DC appellate lawyer

Have you ever wondered what role business attorneys play in society? Well, if you are a consumer or a small business owner, it is time you paid more attention to these legal professionals. In a world where everything is done under the constraints of contracts, anything can go wrong and it is no wonder there are so many contract lawsuits piled up in the court system today.

So you have bought that credit card after signing a lengthy contract agreement. You rightly assume nothing can go wrong because this is a big credit card company. Unfortunately, you could be wrong. Somewhere in the final pages there is a small clause that you missed, or even if you read it, its implications haven’t sunk in your mind yet.

Most probably it was phrased something like “the company may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.” So what is the dark side of such a clause? Here are some ideas:

  • It is legally binding and thus supersedes your right to go to court for justice.
  • Arbitration is not a court process because there is only one arbiter whose decision is legally binding.
  • Arbitrators are not always impartial.
  • Courts rarely reverse an arbitration judgment.
  • Arbitration clauses can ban class action which means consumers are at the mercy of large corporations.

Furthermore, if you have ever signed a contract, it is likely you didn’t scrutinize the ominous arbitration clause. These clauses are now the subject of intense debate because corporations are fighting off class lawsuits using this clever addition. In essence, you are signing your rights away through these arbitration clauses and this is where a business law attorney comes in handy.

Before you sign any kind of contract you must get an attorney to scrutinize it and approve. If you are just starting off, a small business attorney is critical when you get into deals with large corporations to avoid financial losses due to arbitration clauses. Before you sign that tempting contract, let expert go through it lest you sign your legal rights away.

Contact us now for more details about our business attorneys in Arlington, VA.