Ask The Attorney


Christopher M. Mason

Christopher M. Mason

Nixon Peabody, LLP

New York, NY

212 / 940-3017

[email protected]

Question We require arbitration by our employees. Can we also require our customers to arbitrate?

Question Yes, but be careful. Courts almost always uphold agreements to arbitrate entered into after a dispute arises. Agreements to arbitrate entered into beforehand may receive more scrutiny - particularly in consumer contracts. Although the Supreme Court has consistently upheld pre-dispute consumer arbitration clauses, not every such clause works. Some courts won't uphold such clauses if they require one party to arbitrate, but let the other choose between suing and arbitrating, for example. If your customers are large and sophisticated, you have great flexibility. If they are consumers with smaller claims, consider the Consumer Due Process Protocol from the American Arbitration Association.

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Advice provided herein is presented as general information about recent legal developments. Information is edited to space and should not be construed as specific legal advice or opinion.

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