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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3230
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My company has employed as consultants others who are also h

Customer Question

My company has employed as consultants others who are also harmed by this situation. If they were to choose to hold me liable, and I do not have a binding arbitration clause with them and they sue my company for damages on the breach of contract - does that change my legal argument in arbitration or enable me to take this to a court?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
I have let Sam know that your question is waiting. If I can be of further assistance let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Oh - I just asked Sam because he said if I have another question send it over, but anyone can answer, would you mind obliging?

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
No problem. I have opened it to all of our lawyers.
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

 

Thank you for choosing Just Answer. I will follow up only because Sam is unavailable right now.

 

The right or requirement to go to arbitration is strictly based on contract. This means that if your contractors have not waived their right to go to trial, they may skip the arbitration process and go directly to litigation against you. Regardless as to whether or not you have an obligation to arbitrate with the remaining parties. Your obligations do not restrict those of the independent contractors as to you. (Similarly, you have a right to go directly to litigation against the contractors, the obligation to go to litigation is between you and your client).

 

Although it may make economic sense to consolidate the issues in either arbitration or litigation (either one costs roughly the same in my experience, the only difference is that the parties have a lot more room to manipulate the course of the dispute resolution process in arbitration - even under the rules of arbitration).

 

Please let me know if you have any questions, and if you would like Sam to weigh in, please let me know as well and I will happily "opt out" and allow him to answer, I do not know how quickly you need a response.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Bill! Would like to understand what you wrote here : Although it may make economic sense to consolidate the issues in either arbitration or litigation (either one costs roughly the same in my experience, the only difference is that the parties have a lot more room to manipulate the course of the dispute resolution process in arbitration - even under the rules of arbitration).




I am in binding arbitration - and what you wrote is what concerns me, as the breaching party is extremely well funded. I am concerned that the binding arbitration will force me to accept an offer that I would not normally feel is justified based on the actual evidence of the breach and the extreme nature of it.


 


Do you have any advice on what I can expect from arbitration and what manipulation tactics I should be on the look out for? I am worried that the breaching party will outspend me on these tactics making it impossible to have my claim properly deliberated upon.

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
What I mean by this is that the parties can negotiate and determine the scope of discovery, how discovery is conducted and what the terms of pre-trial (arbitration) motions will be made.

To protect yourself from being "steam rolled" you can try mapping out the information that you believe you will need or want in order to produce the necessary evidence to prove your case and to disprove theirs. Decide how you can best get that information (interrogatories, demands for production of documents, or deposition). Once you have determined this information, ensure that you are provided this information through discovery, and ensure that the arbitrator gives you this information either through motions or through agreements with the other party to provide it in discovery.

(Discovery and introduction of documents is how you will prove your case, this is where the "make or break" decisions happen, so stick to your guns. While litigation offers much broader rules for discovery, arbitration usually restricts discovery, do not let them restrict it so much that you do not get the information you want - if they try to do so, you need to document it in your moving papers before the arbitrator. If the arbitrator denies your motions such that the outcome is unjust, you can appeal the decision to a trial court - but it must be documented).
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3230
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you BIll! Thankfully I have most of what I need already documented.

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
That is great. Make sure that you have it in a format that can be "authenticated" meaning that someone can testify to it as either being drafted by them at the time of the event, they recognize the document by handwriting, etc., they are the custodian of the business records, etc. (Check the evidence code for authentication or hearsay).

If you cannot do this yourself, you can send the other party a series of Requests for Admission (a set of questions they must answer yes or no to), and Request for Authentication of Documents (a set of questions that requires them to say whether or not the documents you have are true and authentic documents so that you can use them as evidence in your arbitration).

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