Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thinking of Doing a Desk Arbitration with the American Arbitration Association? You May Want to Think Again!

Unfortunately for consumers, it is becoming all too common to see an arbitration clause among the many sales documents in a used motor vehicle purchase.  In most cases, this means that the consumer cannot file a lawsuit in Court, but instead will have to arbitrate his or her dispute with the car dealership in private arbitration.  

One of the most popular private arbitration forums for consumer automobile fraud cases against car dealerships is the American Arbitration Association ("AAA").  With the AAA, a consumer can either arbitrate their claims at an oral hearing, or do what is called a desk arbitration where the decision is made upon written briefs and submitted documents only.

Normally, a benefit to AAA arbitration is that a case gets through the process relatively
quickly. However, that is not always the case.  In fact, even though AAA Rule R-45 requires that a decision be issued by the arbitrator within 30 days of the hearing date, I have a case that has been sitting without a decision for nearly 1 year.  

Is this common for desk arbitrations with the AAA?  Not in my experience.  But is it worth the risk that your client's case will languish in the bottomless abyss where desk arbitration briefs sit waiting for a decision?  My vote is no.  

Beth Wells
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 11 Years Running

No comments:

Post a Comment