Most employers now force their workers to sign arbitration agreements. An arbitration agreement is an agreement to bring legal claims in a private process called arbitration, rather than in court in front of a judge. There are several arbitration companies in the country that offer these private-judging services. Here are the main steps in the arbitration process. Keep in mind, your case could settle at any step.
The first step in the process is called intake. At intake, I’ll gather the information I need from you to determine whether you have a claim I can help you with.
If you have a solid claim, it will be up to you to decide to move forward. If you do, I will provide you with a contract that lays out what the Law Office of Thomas R. Kayes, LLC will do for and your responsibilities as a client.
Once you have signed our contract, then we will prepare what’s called an arbitration demand. This is the document that we send to the company to kick-off the process. You will be able to review and approve it before we send it.
Assigning the Arbitrator
The arbitration company will help us select an arbitrator to act as the judge in your case.
The Planning Meeting
Once the arbitrator has been selected, he or she will usually hold a meeting with the lawyers to set deadlines and determine how the case should proceed. After his meeting, I will be able to give you more accurate estimates about how long your case will take.
Discovery and Motion Practice
Depending on what the arbitrator allows, both sides will be able to ask the other side questions and ask for documents and other evidence. This information gathering process is called “discovery.” We may need your help during this phase to help us answer questions about your work. The parties can then ask the arbitrator to make preliminary decisions about the law.
The Arbitration Hearing
The arbitration hearing is very similar to a trial in normal court.
After the hearing, the arbitrator will decide who wins.