CALA Slingshots : Arbitration
Arbitration Hearings Cut to the Chase
Without All the Delays and Legalese

Let me get this straight: Dawn Richardson can afford a $300,000 home but she can't afford the nominal filing fee to arbitrate her dispute ["Read the Fine Print," Aug. 30]?

If Ms. Richardson prevails in arbitration, as she obviously believes she will, she can obtain a suitable award plus probably recoup her filing fee and attorney fees. Just like in court, Ms. Richardson can hire outside counsel to represent her on a fee or contingency basis.

Parties are entitled to the same substantive rights and remedies through arbitration as they are in court. And unlike money-eating, emotionally draining litigation, arbitration cuts to the chase without all the legalese, endless discovery, delays, and procedural maneuverings.

Critics sometimes claim that arbiters favor defendants in their rulings. Yet the only study comparing arbitration and jury awards found that arbiters tend to rule in favor of the plaintiff more than juries, and arbiters and juries award similar amounts of damages in comparable cases.

Ms. Richardson has made her case in the press repeatedly. Now she should allow a trained, neutral professional to rule on the evidence.


Jon Opelt
Houston Director,
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
Member, Texas Insurance Commissioner's Mold Task Force

Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

2500 City West Boulevard, Suite 300 • Houston, Texas 77042
E-mail: sosueme@ • Administrative: (713) 267-2302 • Fax: (713) 267-2267