Your Arbitration Rights ExplainedJanuary 21, 2011
As one of many half-assed services we provide, Fancy Plans (in association with Pants to Match) is proud to present a brief guide to arbitration “rights.” This plain-English breakdown of the legal and technical terms used will help you get a “leg up” in your next legal battle with predatory lending agencies, home owner’s associations and the combative legal team currently suing you for violating your Confidentiality Agreement with last night’s drunken Tweeting.
In addition to breaking it down into terms the average layperson can understand, this somewhat brief explanation will also clear up the many reasons that “rights” keeps appearing in quotes. Key explanations and added language will be highlighted in blue text for readability and ease of use when quoting it out of context.
WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL AND ARBITRATION PROVISION
Arbitration is a process in which persons with a dispute: (a) waive their rights to file a lawsuit and proceed in court and to have a jury trial to resolve their disputes (also covers other resolutions, such as barroom brawl, coin toss, H-O-R-S-E, humbled apology, threatening late night phone calls) and (b) agree, instead, to submit their disputes to a neutral (but biased) third person (an “arbitrator”) for a decision. Each party to the dispute has an opportunity to present some evidence to the arbitrator. (In your case, you may present receipts for expensive luxuries, your highly negative public school disciplinary record, all bankruptcies filed, all bankruptcies considered, personal letters of recommendation from acquaintances currently in jail/rehab.) Pre-arbitration discovery may be limited. (In your case, severely fucking limited. Usually this will be constrained to a valid photo I.D. and a valid blank check whose ABA routing number and account information can easily be copied by the other party for unauthorized withdrawals.) Arbitration proceedings are private and less formal than court trials. (Less formal = you being referred to as “this lazy asshole” or “deadbeat” as well as several disparaging remarks referencing your sexual misadventures/penis length.) The arbitrator will issue a final and binding decision resolving the dispute, which may be enforced as a court judgment. (Or more rarely, a court-sanctioned kneecapping.*) A court rarely overturns the arbitrator’s decision.
* Also: dickpunching.
THEREFORE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Acknowledgments. You acknowledge and agree that by entering into this arbitration provision:
A. YOU ARE WAIVING YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE A TRIAL BY JURY TO RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE ALLEGED AGAINST US OR RELATED THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING HOLDING AND MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, THUG-LIKE ENFORCERS, HIGHLY PAID CHARACTER ASSASSINS AND UMBERTO, THE LANDSCAPER;
B. YOU ARE WAIVING YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE A COURT, OTHER THAN A SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL (COMPOSED OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS) RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE ALLEGED AGAINST US OR RELATED THIRD PARTIES (INCLUDING OUR RELATIVES); and
C. YOU ARE WAIVING YOUR RIGHT TO SERVE AS A REPRESENTATIVE, AS A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, OR IN ANY OTHER REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY (INCLUDING REPRESENTING YOURSELF, WHICH WILL LEAVE YOU SUBJECT TO QUICK AND MERCILESS JUDGMENTS), AND/OR TO PARTICIPATE AS A MEMBER OF A CLASS OF CLAIMANTS, IN ANY LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST US AND/OR RELATED THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING OUR PYRAMID-SCHEMING BROTHER-IN-LAW, DOUG.
2. Arbitration Fees and Process: Regardless of who demands arbitration, at your request we will advance your portion of the expenses associated with the arbitration, including the filing, administrative, hearing and arbitrator’s fees (“Arbitration Fees”). These fees will be financed at 31.75% per day until arbitration has been sufficiently “dragged out,” at which point these fees will be financed at prime + 257%. The arbitration hearing will be conducted in the county of your residence, or within 30 miles from such county, or in the county in which the transaction under this Agreement occurred, or in such place as shall be ordered by the arbitrator, such as current vacation hotspots, international waters, local dives, wi-fi hotspots or the moon. In conducting the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not apply any federal or state rules of civil procedure or evidence, but rather an (wait for it…) arbitrary set of rules whose ever-shifting requirements will resemble those of the arbitrator’s favorite drinking game/”house rules” Monopoly. [In the highly improbable event that] the arbitrator renders a decision or award in your favor resolving the dispute, you should probably got out and buy a lottery ticket or bet on some horses or something. At the timely request of any party, the arbitrator shall provide a written explanation for the award including all applicable citations, charts, graphs, line drawings and NSFW Flash animation. The arbitrator’s award may be filed with any court having jurisdiction, most likely one miles away and open inconvenient hours/accessible only by rented boat/mule. In the much more likely event that a decision finds AGAINST you, the arbitrator will sentence you to one of the following:
- 24 hours in stocks
- Immediate bankruptcy (moral AND financial)
- Internet vigilante justice
- Book throwing