The June 5
editorial Public debate needed before closing courthouse doors gave a skewed view of arbitration. It begins with the false premise that lawyers will take any lawsuit. Fact is many legitimate employee grievances never get to court because a lawyer doesnt feel that he or she can make enough money handling the case. And when they do take a case, the lawyer often takes a lions share of the winnings.
Secondly, if an employee wants a dispute decided on the factsquickly, fairly and relatively inexpensivelywhy would he or she not want to be in front of a knowledgeable, neutral arbiter? Licensed arbiters are required to have a greater knowledge of the subject matter in dispute than either a judge or jury. Whats more, arbitration is a faster and less expensive means to settle a dispute.
Lastly, employees dont have to go into a resolution hearing unarmed or unprepared. The
editorial focused on the Halliburton Company and its mandatory arbitration clause. Halliburton gives their employee equal say in selecting a neutral arbiter, gives the employee a $2,500 allowance to hire an attorney to fight the company, and permits reimbursement of additional attorney fees if the employee prevails. That is a pretty fair shake.
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse