Javier Espinoza had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the University of Texas Law School on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 with the Texas Trial Lawyers Association about arbitration and its impact on our justice system. Buried in many employee handbooks and initial employment paperwork, arbitration agreements impact the lawsuits that injured workers can bring by forcing them to litigate in confidential, expedited settings instead of in courtrooms in front of attorneys paid by employers to hear and decide the law and facts rather than in front of a truly impartial judge and jury.
The Alliance for Justice created a short documentary called Lost in the Fine Print that discusses these points and more. The documentary tells the story of three everyday people who found themselves trapped in this system – and the impact of forced arbitration on their lives and livelihoods.
At our firm, we are forced to deal with these arbitration agreements every day as we are forced to fight for our clients in the arbitral rather than judicial forum. Although we have to sometimes accept the purview of the arbitration association over our clients claims, we still continuously challenge them, as forced arbitration rarely finds justice for our clients. As the Alliance for Justice points out, one study has found that 94 percent of the time, arbitrators rule for companies over individuals.
We encourage you to watch the documentary and tell your legislators and elected officials to stop enforcing forced arbitration and choose to instead keep justice in our courthouses.