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more on arbitration / recouping money for your time in court / webinar notice October 9, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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more on arbitration / recouping money for your time in court / webinar notice
October 9, 2017
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NOTICE:  Free Employment law webinar - sign up today.
REGISTER for a Free Employment Webinar
Topic:  EMPLOYER AS HOSTAGE? HOW TO TERMINATE FMLA COVERED EMPLOYEES
Description:   Once an employee finds herself covered by FMLA, a common complaint from an employer is poor job performance. But the FMLA employee is now untouchable, because protected, right? Not necessarily. Join Kieran Bastible, Esq. and Jonathan Rogoff, Esq. of K&K's Employment Department for a discussion about Employer's rights against non-performing and abusive employees covered by FMLA.
Who should attend:  HR, management and owners 
Presented by: Kieran Bastible, Esq and Jonathan Rogoff, Esq. of K&K's Employment Department
Date and Time: Wed, Oct 25, 2017 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM EST
Register Herehttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7390559106989555458
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more on arbitration
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Ken
    I have never used arbitration before could you give me kind of the gist of how it works?
The Security Guy
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Response
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    Arbitration is a non-judicial dispute resolution proceeding which the parties agree in advance to participate in.  They agree by contract and we include an arbitration provision in our Standard Form Agreements.
    Arbitration is conducted by private arbitrators with various levels of experience.  Most will be lawyers or former judges.  Strict rules of evidence are not generally followed and there is no jury.  Typically there are one to three arbitrators.  The Standard Form Agreements provide for one arbitrator and permit proceedings to be conducted by telephone, video or in-person hearing.  There is no appeal process.  Arbitration awards, if not paid, have to be confirmed in a regular court to have the full force of a judgment.  A judge can refuse to confirm the award on only very limited circumstances and generally will not review facts of the case or disturb the arbitration ruling.  
    So why arbitration?  The process is usually much faster and streamline, especially if you are in a jurisdiction where the court system is hopelessly backed up.  The Standard Form Agreementdesignates an arbitration forum where the arbitrators are familiar with alarm industry issues, the rates are reasonable and matters move along relatively quickly.  It's important to note that you should expect a very similar result whether you go to court or arbitration. 
    Most alarm litigation are collection cases.  Most of those cases either settle or end up with a default judgment that is nearly impossible to collect.  A settlement is preferred because you are more likely to get paid.  The chances of achieving a settlement are directly correlated to how long you wait to pursue the collection case.  Waiting 60 days as opposed to 6 months makes a big difference.  
    If you don't use our Standard Form Agreements and you put an arbitration provision in your contract or sign a subscribers agreement with an arbitration clause you need to keep in mind that not all arbitration companies charge or operate the same.  I've had arbitrations where three arbitrators were required and the proceedings were drawn out more than if we had been in court.  Unlike a court proceeding presided over by a judge paid by the state, arbitrators get paid by the parties.  Rates can range from $100 to close to $1000 per hour.  That's for each arbitrator, so a drawn out arbitration can be expensive.  Typically I will not approve a contract with an arbitration clause unless I know and approve of the arbitration program.  You should be discerning as well.  
    If you stick with the Standard Form Agreement we have selected the arbitration forum and we will support you by representing you in that forum.  Rates start as low as $125 to commence the proceeding, which is initiated by mail, so the process gets jump started quickly.  The sooner you send it to us the sooner you can hope to recover.
    The arbitration provision works for defense cases too, and you can expect the contract to hold up, just as it would in court.  The case will be handled much faster and less costly; outcome the same.
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recouping money for your time in court
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Ken
    Quick question.   I find myself in court a whole lot more than I would like to be it seems like folks just don’t want to pay these days we are doing the free system and subsidizing it ourselves and because of such we are going deep into the hole at the beginning of the contract most of our non-payers fail within the first year is there a provision that we can put in the contract for liquidated damages to cover the cost of when we have to take them to court as the business owner it takes time out of our day we have to meet with an attorney we have to get all the paperwork together is there any kind of fee that we can add into the contract to cover these losses we typically bill at $75 per hour at the tech level and I bill $150 an hour at the business owner level how can I incorporate my time lost I know we have a provision in there to cover attorneys fees but what about our loss of time as a business owner and by extension potential loss of business income and the time we can never get back having to fool with these matters?
name withheld
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Response
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    The Standard Form Agreements provide for legal fees if you prevail.  You could provide for your time as well, but I don't typically see that in contracts, certainly not alarm contracts.  If you start using the arbitration process in the Standard Form Agreements you won't have to spend much if any time in court.  All proceedings can be handled over the phone or video conferencing.  Get with the program.
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com