- Do you have a set of rules? What regulatory framework are they based on?
Yes. Our FairClaims Arbitration Rules & Procedures are lawyer-reviewed and approved.
They have been designed pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act and California Civil Procedure since our online arbitrations are deemed to take place in Los Angeles. You can review our rules in full here.
- What substantive law applies? How do you handle choice of law?
Our arbitrators are guided by the rules of law agreed upon by the parties.
In the absence of a choice of law agreement, our arbitrators are guided by the law or the rules of law that he or she deems to be most appropriate.
- Who are your arbitrators?
Our arbitrators are qualified, experienced, fully-vetted, bar-licensed lawyers. Beyond background and expertise, we screen for the right combination of emotional intelligence and backbone such that parties feel heard and respected. It is also important to us that our arbitrator candidates display their ability to effectively manage a live hearing with minimal cross talk and distraction even for our most contentious matters.
Our arbitrator roster includes former AAA arbitrators, law professors, GCs and other exceptional lawyers with significant backgrounds in litigation and dispute resolution. They have been on both sides of litigation, have represented individuals, businesses and large enterprises, are geographically and otherwise diverse, and the record shows that they do their best to get to the right outcome by applying law to fact.
We only accept 7% of applicants to ensure the highest quality caliber arbitrators hear your matters. And put them through a rigorous interview process which includes a fully simulated mock hearing.
- How do you evaluate your arbitrators?
In a few ways: (1) We survey all parties on their overall experience with their arbitration, including their impression of our arbitrators; (2) We have a FairClaims representative join each hearing and keep a scorecard that rates arbitrators on things like professionalism, attention to detail, and command of the issues; (3) We evaluate the quality of their legal reasoning, communication skills, and attention to detail as evidenced in their written decisions.
With that said, it is very important to note that our arbitrators are totally independent and we do not in any way interfere with their decisions or deliberative process. We provide all parties with resources so they can use our platform and present their case, but the relationship and communication we have with any of our users is totally separate from outcomes and the arbitration process itself.
- Are your arbitrations confidential?
Yes. Our post-dispute agreements to arbitrate include an NDA provision. And our arbitrations are confidential per our rules, except as necessary in connection with a judicial challenge to or enforcement of an Award, or unless otherwise required by law or judicial decision.
Settlement discussions prior to an arbitration hearing are inadmissible during that hearing per our rules.
- Has FairClaims arbitration been challenged in court? Will it hold up?
Courts have enforced on our arbitration awards. Courts have also dismissed litigation pursuant to FairClaims arbitration agreements.
Just like JAMS, AAA and other independent arbitration companies our rules are designed pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act and there is ample, well-settled precedent to support alternative and online dispute resolution. Which is why so many companies have adopted and are confident in our solutions.
- Have other companies added FairClaims arbitration clauses to their terms?
Yes. A growing number of companies large and small have added FairClaims clauses to their terms and contracts. If you would like to consider adding us to your terms you can learn more and view sample language at [link to clause page].
Whether or not you include a FairClaims arbitration clause in your terms we can still of course work together on a post-dispute agreement to arbitrate basis, as we have done with several other companies. We have had success with this approach - depending on incentives, we see as much as 70%+ of respondents voluntarily agree to arbitrate post-dispute.
- Do your arbitrators apply equity or law? Do they split the baby?
We often get asked whether our arbitrators “split the baby” and whether they display any bias, i.e. more consumer or business friendly. The answer, as based on empirical results, is a definite no. And this concern informs our screening process which is designed in part to vet for integrity and fair mindedness.
Empirical results tell us our arbitrators apply law to fact based on evidence presented. While arbitration allows for some amount of discretion and equity as may be applicable and necessary, and while our arbitrators are within their authority, we find this to be consistently true based on actual outcomes.
- Do your arbitrators issue reasoned decisions?
Yes. And in addition to summarizing relevant evidence and analysis, they often reference legal precedent as appropriate. If you would like to review a sample decision, please contact us.
- What’s the enforcement process?
Very straightforward. You (1) confirm the arbitration award which can be done remotely and without a hearing - we’ll provide you with templates and information for navigating local courts and (2) can then garnish a wage or levy a bank account. You can also pass on any enforcement fees to the other side.
The good news is 85% of respondents pay out on awards without need for enforcement. And when they don’t, presenting evidence of enforcement, i.e. confirmation of arbitration award, before filing can get them to submit payment.
- How will using FairClaims or adding one of your arbitration clauses to our terms impact any class action provisions we might have?
Just like with any other arbitral body, pursuant to AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011), you can preserve your class action provisions even with mandatory arbitration with FairClaims so long as you are thoughtful about things like opt out provisions and notice. For sample copy and more information on these topics please see [clause page].
- International enforcement
Any country that respects the New York Convention, any FairClaims award will be respected in a number of other countries including Canada, the United Kingdom and most European countries. See a full list here.
Therefore, you would be able to enforce on one of our awards in any of those countries. You could also enforce in Los Angeles, California and collect on your award in the United States so long as the respondent has assets in the United States.