Mesa, AZ 85213
Phoenix, AZ 85004
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Litigation With A Positive ROI
You Might Be Giving Up Legal Rights by “Liking” a Company on Facebook
You many have heard that many companies, especially larger companies, have tried to alter the terms of their agreements with clients to avoid jury trials and resolve disputes exclusively through arbitration. Arbitration is usually interpreted as being more favorable toward defendants, especially defendants in big, expensive litigation such as class-action lawsuits.
Generally speaking, the law favors arbitration. Judges like arbitration because it takes cases off their docket. Others like arbitration because it is often perceived as being cheaper and faster than ordinary litigation (though in my experience that’s not always the case).
General Mills, the big company that makes cereals like Cheerios and Chex and also makes many other food products, has added language to its website about arbitration. GM is now telling consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they join the company in online communities like Facebook or do a number of other things, such as download coupons or enter company sweepstakes. Instead, consumers who do those things will have to resolve their disputes by arbitration, which might be less favorable to them.
General Mills has not been eager to discuss this issue more, but you can expect that their legal team has determined that pushing disputes into arbitration will save the company money over the long term. Credit card and mobile phone companies have also implemented similar arbitration provisions.
Small business owners might think about how these arbitration trends could affect them. For example, small businesses who use form contracts in their operations might consider adding arbitration provisions to their contracts. Or small business owners might consider whether their contracts with larger companies contain arbitration provisions, and give some thought to whether that is acceptable or not. The small business owners who are my clients are typically very busy, and this is not an issue that is worth an enormous amount of their time. But it is worth being aware of.
Our litigation attorneys are experienced in dispute resolution, including negotiation and mediation, as well as arbitration and litigation at all levels. We are trial lawyers who have litigated matters in administrative hearings, jury trials, the Arizona Court of Appeals, and the Arizona Supreme Court.
Written By Brad Denton – Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
Mesa Office: 1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Phoenix Office: 40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1400-1532
Phoenix, AZ 85004
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