$50 to Make a Claim, Attorney Included
Companies use mandatory arbitration to avoid class actions.
Private Arbitration means that you are not allowed to go to court, but that all disputes are decided by a private judge of sorts, an experienced attorney or retired judge that is paid by the private parties to decide the case. Instead of public trials, matters are decided in hearings held in conference rooms. Strict rules of evidence don't apply. There is no right of appeal.
But it is expensive for them to do this because the private companies they use to administer their arbitrations both require the company to pay most of the cost of the private arbitrators. The consumer has to pay only a filing fee of $200 and / or $250. In some cases, the business will even pay this, or the arbitration provider will agree to waive that cost IF the consumer earns less than 300% of the federal poverty level for their family size.
This is leverage for you.
I will represent you in filing an arbitration claim about your complaint for a flat $50. Once paid, I will email you an agreement that you will sign and return to me. I will then email you my evaluation of the legal merits of your claim.
If your claim is meritorious, I will file the claim with AAA and send a copy to the company. I will process an application for a fee waiver if you qualify.
If you don't qualify for a fee waiver, (and the company doesn't fold and settle) you will be responsible for paying me the amount of the filing fee of $200 or $250 depending on which arbitration service is involved.
If I determine that your claim is frivolous (meaning it lacks any legal merit), then I will advise you of this and will not press the claim further. I will keep the $50 as my fee for the evaluation of your case. This is to your advantage, as a frivolous claims can cause the arbitrator to hold YOU accountable for the huge cost of arbitration, as much as $800 an hour for a JAMS private arbitrator who is a retired Judge!
I will then represent you through to a hearing, which will be either in person or virtual at my election.
Depending on your case, I may ask the other side to pay my attorneys' fees if we win. Some laws give consumers the right to claim attorneys fees for winning, so I will use these to get compensation at my hourly rate of $300 per hour for all of the time I spent on your matter. You will not have to pay this amount, only the defendants pay my fees under my proposal to you.
Do NOT contact me about your matter except through the form below. I will NOT respond to any inquiry for which there is no matching record of a payment.
You MUST be a California resident.
You must sign and return my fee agreement I will email mail you. If you review the agreement and decline to sign it, I will issue you a refund.
My name is James Swiderski. My state bar number is 185761. You can verify my information and address and contact information, and lack of any disciplinary history with the California state bar at CalBar.org. Type in my name under attorney search.