Evan Spelfogel Contributes Chapter on Mandatory Arbitration to American Arbitration Association Handbook

Evan Spelfogel, Member of the Firm, contributed a chapter titled "Mandatory Arbitration vs. Employment Litigation" to the American Arbitration Association's Handbook on Employment Arbitration and ADR, 2nd ed. (Juris Net LLC, January, 2011).

Here is an excerpt:

Employment litigation has grown at a rate many times greater than litigation in general. Twenty-five times more employment discrimination cases were filed last year than in 1970, an increase almost 100% greater than all other types of civil litigation combined. There is currently a backlog of over 50,000 employment discrimination cases at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and thousands more at state and local governmental agencies. New cases of discrimination are being filed at a rate 25% greater than last year alone. Discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other protective workplace laws are only beginning to impact these statistics. The EEOC is under tremendous congressional pressure to reduce its budget and to cut back on investigators and support staff needed to handle the influx of new cases.

Currently, there are over 25,000 wrongful discharge and discrimination cases pending in state and federal courts nationwide. Nearly all of these cases involve jury trials with lengthy delays and unpredictable results. Studies indicate that plaintiffs win nearly 70% of these cases and that the average jury award for a wrongfully fired employee is now approximately $700,000 (with many in the millions of dollars), but that it takes three to five years before the case goes to a jury and many jury verdicts are reduced or set aside by the courts.