Many States’ lemon laws have mandatory arbitration mechanisms if elected by a consumer. Some States require use of the State’s own arbitration mechanism and permit the award of attorney fees and costs to a prevailing consumer. While certain States allow for an Administrative Law Judge to hear matters, in the majority of States these matters are heard by arbitrators who are not judges, and very often, are not lawyers.
Most States permit very little discovery and no deposition, requiring blind cross-examination of claimants and their experts at the hearing. Since hearings are required to occur shortly after arbitration is elected by the consumer, companies must move quickly to conduct their factual investigation, compile necessary documents, and secure and prepare the appropriate fact and/or technical witnesses to properly defend the matter at hearing.
RoseWaldorf’s familiarity with these venues allow it to properly evaluate those claims that should be defended based on the particular forum or arbitrators hearing the matter. RW’s understanding of the relevant legal and factual issues allow it to quickly and efficiently investigate and assess a matter, and to identify and secure the appropriate witnesses. For those matters that should be defended, RW’s substantial experience in these venues enable it to successfully defend matters notwithstanding the lack of even basic discovery typically afforded by the litigation process.
Although judicial review of arbitration is generally very limited, RW’s familiarity with both the arbitration forum and the courts have allowed it success in identifying and challenging arbitration decisions which do not comport with the State’s law or the facts of the case. RW’s significant experience in these venues enables it to offer unique fee arrangements for representation at state arbitration hearings.
In addition to state-run mandatory arbitration, RW also has experience with binding arbitration in ADR forums such as AAA. RW has not only achieved favorable results when defending claims brought in such forums, it has also had success staying litigation and compelling plaintiffs to proceed with their claims in arbitration where possible. This avoids abuse of the court system, overly burdensome and costly discovery, and the predictable increase in exposure to attorneys’ fees and costs in a fee-shifting environment.