Forced arbitration and Mandatory arbitration sound like the same thing. Turns out that they’re not. Here’s a quick lowdown on the differences.
Mandatory arbitration (MAR) is one of the most effective tools used by our court system to secure access to justice at a quicker pace than it would be if you waited for a day in court. Our judicial docket is quite full and cases can often take days, weeks, or more, just in trial itself, not counting the countless hours of preparation. If a case is smaller, (currently a dispute regarding less than $50,000) instead of spending thousands of dollars preparing for a case or spending days in court, you can go to a mutually agreed upon arbitrator. Instead of spending days in court, you can spend a few hours talking to a neutral arbitrator. If you or the other party do not agree with the decision, you are still granted access to our court system to appeal your case.
Conversely, forced arbitration is a clause used by corporations in the fine print of contracts. If you have a dispute with the corporation, such as a website or your phone company, you are sent to a private arbitrator whose decision is binding. These arbitrators are chosen directly by the companies. If you do not agree with the decision, you have no further recourse. You are outside of the judicial system.
This is why WSAJ supports mandatory but not forced arbitration.
As a recap: