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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 32566
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and handled many cases and trials for consumers.
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Id like a second/third opinion on this issue. The first expert

This answer was rated:

I'd like a second/third opinion on this issue. The first expert seemed quite certain that due to the poor wording of the arbitration document that it would be read against the drafter. How certain can I be of that. Does that depend on varying state statutes so that Arizona might be different than elsewhere?

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

JD 1992 :

There is an old rule of law known as "the Scrivener's Rule" which applies in all states and is based on common law, not statutes, which states that any part of an agreement/contract which is ambiguous will be interpreted against the drafter.

JD 1992 :

What this means is that if you offer a reasonable interpretation of the contract then the court is bound to accept that interpretation even if the other side offers an interpretation that is more reasonable.

Customer:

aha, i had heard of that term (i deal with easements all day) but didn't realize the import. so, have had a look at the document in question?

Customer:

you mean if i offer a reasonable interpretation based on an obvious ambiguity in the contract language, it's going to be read against the drafter?

JD 1992 :

I have read through the contract language on the other question and I agree that it is conflicting in parts and both appears to require arbitration while allowing the dealer not to go to arbitration if it chooses to repo, etc.

Customer:

obvious ambiguity or, apparently in this case, an outright contradiction

JD 1992 :

Yes, it is an outright contradiction, particularly the section about small claims court and self help.

JD 1992 :

And it is a contradiction that can't be resolved.

Customer:

yes, indeed, it seems to be there to allow a loophole for the dealer to use repo, but uses "You AND we retain the rights" so lets the buyer through the loophole as well?

JD 1992 :

There is either mandatory arbitration or there isn't.

JD 1992 :

I think that is a reasonable interpretation.

JD 1992 :

Under that agreement you can go to small claims court.

Customer:

So I take it you would confirm Expert 1 that if I sue in small claims court and the dealer pulls out this arbitration agreement, then (if the judge has any legal training--a real question here in AZ) he/she should recognize that I have a right to pursue it in small claims court?

Customer:

sorry i'm lagging behind you a little here while typing

JD 1992 :

Absolutely.

JD 1992 :

No problem.

Customer:

OK, that's good news. thanks.

JD 1992 :

If the case is transferred from small claims court to another court it is not as clear, but not as clear works in your favor as well.

JD 1992 :

Anything else I can assist with?

Customer:

actually there is. i'd like you to offer an opinion on the case in question. should i start a new question or use this one?

Customer:

by the way, does the text of these chats get saved?

JD 1992 :

You probably need to start a new question. Start it with FOR JD 1992 and I'll pick up as soon as I see it. If I'm helping someone else I may be delayed but I'll get there eventually.

JD 1992 :

The question itself changes format when you issue your Positive Rating and will be available for, as far as I know, forever. i know it's available for at least a year.

Customer:

but the chat is included?

JD 1992 :

Yes, it's all there.

JD 1992 :

It just looks a little different.

JD 1992 :

It changes to a format you can print off using your browser.

JD 1992 :

I'll go ahead and exit and look for your next post.

JD 1992 :

Remember to start it with FOR JD 1992 and I'll pick up.

JD 1992 :

Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work.

Dwayne B. and 2 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please note that I sent a new question to you last night...

I don't see another one pending. Did I answer it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, we chatted last night about the car dealership arbitration issue. I agreed to send you a new question and literally right then JA cancelled my account. Bizarre. After 4+ hours waiting/fighting with customer "service," they agreed to open a new account for me. Maybe that's why you can't find it. I did put "FOR JD 1992" at the beginning.

That's why, it's just not showing for this account. I thought I remembered answering it for you last night or this morning.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well maybe I didn't get it because JA customer service told me to use my normal email address with 'justanswer' as the domain--not sure how i can get any emails that way! I'll try to logout and sign in to the other account if i can remember the userid.

Let me know if you can't and I'll look for it and get the moderators to contact you with info on how to sign into it.