The appeals court “states only that the parties agree to go to mediation “before either party resorts to court action,” the remainder of the clause, and specifically those portions stating that the parties will go to binding arbitration…makes plain that mediation and arbitration were but two parts of a single ADR process.”
Morgan’s consumer fraud claim is included, according to the decision. “Plaintiff is free to pursue in arbitration a claim for all statutory remedies available to her under the Consumer Fraud Act.”
The parties will now head to arbitration unless Morgan appeals the decision to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
“Typically, arbitration is a more efficient and less expensive way in which to resolve disputes than litigating a case to verdict following a trial,” says New Jersey attorney James Green of Cipriani & Werner, P.C.
This case illustrates the importance of having a contract. Green notes a contract can, “in many cases, help protect the interests of your business if you understand the terms and first consult with an attorney before agreeing to sign on the dotted line.” He has no involvement in this case.
Green gives these best practices when entering into your next horse deal.
-Negotiate the contract terms, if possible, for the best possible benefit to you and your business.
-Protect yourself. Always consult an attorney regarding your contract for each new situation.
-If you are uncertain of specific terms or provisions in the contract, and do not consult with an attorney for guidance, it may be best to walk away.
Although buying a horse is an emotional experience for many, on the business end of the deal, emotional decisions need to stay out of the equation, like any other business transaction. Common sense must prevail in order to prevent heart break and financial disaster later.