Q: My husband and I (residents of Utah) are close to making an offer on a condo in California. It is disturbing that in the California Residential Purchase Agreement it requires that we agree to resolution and then to binding arbitration. "You are giving up any rights you might possess to have the dispute litigated in a court or jury trial." My temptation is to X it out, but it’s part of the standard form used by Californians. What would you advise your clients to do?
A: As an attorney, it’s sometimes surprising to me how much anxiety and stress consumers experience around alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses, especially because the intent of such clauses is generally to minimize the cost and angst of a legal dispute. While you should certainly obtain your own attorney’s personalized opinion and advice that accounts for your own circumstances and exposure, I’m happy to provide my two cents.