Never Sign an Arbitration Agreement Without Seeking Legal Counsel
Arbitration agreements are becoming more common in various types of contracts. But, signing an arbitration agreement can limit your rights and options for pursuing legal action. If you are not aware of your rights and the potential consequences of signing an arbitration agreement, it can put you at a disadvantage. Therefore, it is essential to seek legal counsel before signing any arbitration agreement.
Limitations on Legal Action
When you sign an arbitration agreement, you waive your right to file a lawsuit or take part in a class-action lawsuit against the other party. This can limit your options for pursuing legal action, and you may not be able to pursue legal action in a court of law.
Limitations on Damages
Arbitration awards are often lower than what you could potentially recover through a lawsuit, and you may not be able to recover certain types of damages, such as punitive damages, through arbitration.
Limitations on Discovery
Discovery is often more limited in arbitration than in a court case, which can make it challenging to build a strong case. Additionally, arbitration proceedings are often private, which means that the public will not be aware of any wrongdoing by the other party.
Arbitration agreements may not be enforceable in certain situations. If the agreement is one-sided or unfairly favors one party, a court may find it unenforceable. Similarly, if the accord is ambiguous or unclear, it may also be unenforceable.
Terms of the Agreement
The terms of the arbitration agreement may not be in your best interest. For example, the agreement may require you to pay for the cost of arbitration, which can be expensive. Additionally, the agreement may ask that you travel to a location that is not convenient for you or to use an arbitrator that is biased toward the other party.
Seek Legal Counsel
By seeking legal counsel before signing an arbitration agreement, you can ensure that you understand your rights and the potential consequences of signing the agreement. A lawyer can review the agreement and advise whether it is in your best interest. If the agreement is not in your best interest, your lawyer may be able to negotiate more favorable terms.
In conclusion, never sign an arbitration agreement without seeking legal counsel. “These agreements can limit your rights and options for pursuing legal action, limit the amount of damages you can recover, and limit the amount of discovery you can conduct. Additionally, these agreements may not be enforceable in certain situations and may not be in your best interest," says attorney Shawna Woods of Atlanta Divorce Law Group.
Seeking legal counsel before signing an arbitration agreement is crucial to ensure that you fully understand your rights and the potential consequences of signing the agreement.
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