Arbitration Agreement

If you sue someone, you don’t want the guy you’re suing to get to decide who wins.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Actor Danny Masterson is facing criminal prosecution for accusations that he sexually assaulted several women.  But some of the women, who were members of The Church of Scientology, claim that the Church harassed them to get them to drop those charges, so they filed a lawsuit against the Church.

But the Los Angeles Superior Court just ruled that because the people who filed the lawsuit had signed an agreement with the Church when they were members agreeing to arbitrate all disputes against the Church, the LA Court said it couldn’t hear a trial.  Instead, the case has to go through arbitration and under most arbitration agreements, guess who gets to pick the arbitrators?  Yeah.  It’s hard to win against a person—or organization—that gets to decide whether you should win.  The criminal case will still be tried in court, but this lawsuit is a reminder that before you sign a contract in which you agree to go to arbitration, read it and see who gets to pick the arbitrators.

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