Breaking an Arbitration Agreement: What You Need to Know
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can offer a faster, more efficient, and less expensive way to resolve legal disputes than going to court. It involves both parties agreeing to resolve the issue through a private process with a neutral third party arbitrator. However, when you sign an arbitration agreement, you generally give up your right to sue in court and agree to abide by the decision of the arbitrator. Breaking an arbitration agreement can have serious consequences, so it`s important to understand the implications of doing so.
What is an Arbitration Agreement?
An arbitration agreement is a contract between two parties that outlines the terms and conditions of how disputes will be resolved outside of court. Commonly found in employment contracts, consumer agreements, and professional services contracts, these agreements outline the parties` agreement to submit to arbitration instead of pursuing litigation.
Arbitration agreements essentially limit the legal rights of each party as opposed to traditional litigation. The agreements are often used to force individuals to waive their right to a jury trial or class-action lawsuits. Once an arbitration agreement is signed, it is generally difficult to break.
Breaking an Arbitration Agreement
Breaking an arbitration agreement means that one party ignored or failed to comply with the terms of the agreement. This can happen in different ways, such as by filing a lawsuit in court instead of trying to resolve the dispute through arbitration. Other ways of breaking an arbitration agreement include refusing to participate in the arbitration process, withholding information, or failing to pay your share of the arbitration fees.
The Consequences of Breaking an Arbitration Agreement
If one party breaks an arbitration agreement, the other party may take legal action to enforce the agreement. This could result in a court order compelling the party that broke the agreement to participate in arbitration or face penalties for doing so. Additionally, the party that broke the agreement may be responsible for the other party`s legal fees incurred in enforcing the agreement.
In the event that the party that breaks the agreement refuses to participate in the arbitration process, the other party may be awarded whatever the arbitrator deems appropriate to compensate for the damages caused by the breach. It`s important to note that breaking an arbitration agreement can have serious legal consequences, so it`s important to understand the terms of the agreement and the consequences of breaking them.
Arbitration is a valuable tool for resolving disputes outside of court. However, it`s important to understand the implications of signing an arbitration agreement and the consequences of breaking it. If you are unsure about the terms of an arbitration agreement or have questions about your options for resolving a legal dispute, it`s advisable to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your interests are protected.