Alpine Homes Utah

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Jan 27, 2014
Category: General
Posted by: andy

Every week the driveway seems to be getting worse. The spalling is taking hold.

Dec 20, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: andy

The trim on the front of my home that was fixed last fall is cracked again.

Jul 10, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: andy
I just noticed that my concrete driveway is starting to spall. It is only a year and a half old.
Jun 4, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: andy

I recently noticed the stucco on the north side of my house is bubbling in places and starting to flake off.

 

Apr 24, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: andy

Four of my kitchen cabinet doors have stripped screws and are falling off.

Arbitration Part 2

Arbitration was once an legal process that was only familiar to attorneys and executives of large corporations.  But in the 1990's arbitration agreements started showing up in more common places where everyday peoples was effected.  Arbitration agreements are now very common in the purchasing of a car, service contractors, employment contracts and even with hospitals and medical providers. Many times arbitration agreements are contained in ancillary agreements, or in small print in other agreements, and consumers and employees often do not know in advance that they have agreed to mandatory binding arbitration by purchasing a product or taking a job.  So the questions become “should I sign an arbitration agreement?” or “Should I agree to arbitration?”

What is an arbitration agreement?  Arbitration is an agreement between parties to settle legal disputes on a particular matter without going through the normal court procedures.  Arbitration can be either mandatory or voluntary. Mandatory arbitration usually occur in two instances. In a contract for services or products the contracts will have an mandatory arbitration clause, when the parties sign the contract they are  consenting to have disputes to be resolve by arbitration; And, thus binding themselves to arbitration.  In some very limited instances arbitration is required by a law or statute.

When a dispute is arbitrated an arbitrator not a judge chosen to act as both the judge and the jury in resolving the dispute.  Although, they are supposed to be non-biased many arbitrators have very close ties to large companies and the attorneys that represent them.

Should I sign an arbitration agreement?  Or,  should I agree to arbitration? If you are a consumer  the short and simple answer is HELL NO!!!  Lets take a minute to think through this, most of time an arbitration agreement is contained in an contract presented when you purchase a service or product.   If an arbitration agreement was to your advantage do think companies would provide for arbitration in their standard contracts? Again, the short and simple answer is HELL NO!!!  So why are arbitration agreements not good for the general consumer?  Some common  disadvantages are:

The arbitrator may be subject to pressures from powerful law firms representing the stronger and wealthier party.  Some arbitrators prefer to be considered more business friendly because they want to consider for future opportunities to arbitrate.  The arbitrator knows that you may never find yourself in a legal dispute again, but the big company may be involved in hundreds of disputes a year.  So who do you think could provide him with the most work?  There is an inherent incentive to rule against the consumer for the big corporation.

Usually, arbitration is mandatory and binding, the parties waive their rights to access the courts and to have a judge or jury decide the case.  Unlike court, many time you can not even appeal the decision of the arbitrator. Therefore,  an erroneous decision cannot be easily overturned.


Most  arbitration agreements require the parties to pay for the arbitrator.  Arbitrators are attorneys and some charge as much as $500 per hour.  This adds another layer of legal cost that can be prohibitive to a consumer.


Several studies have shown that when arbitrators do rule in favor of the consumer they award them significant smaller amount than a jury would. Also, once a party receive an arbitration award they have enforce the award through a judicial remedy, called an action to "confirm" an award.  Although grounds for attacking or appealing an arbitration award in court are limited, efforts to confirm the award are sometime fiercely fought by the big corporations.  When would also  necessitate additional legal expenses.



Although arbitration can some time be a lot quicker than court, it is clearly they are not in the best interest of the consumer.  You should always read contracts, work orders and estimates closely and you should not sign anything with arbitration clause.  Many companies will not provide a service or product if you refuse. In that case you should find another business that do not require arbitration.  Also, if you find an arbitration clause in a contract, you can try marking a line or X through the paragraph that refers to the arbitration and initialing it.  If a dispute ever arise it could be argued that you did not agree to that part of the contract.  If you are in a dispute with another party and there is an arbitration agreement you should consult with an attorney that practice in that area.

Alpine Homes Utah