Preserving the Right to Trial by Jury

Concessions by the Carlyle Group, a private equity giant, has called into question the ethics of other organizations. The Carlyle Group has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) and as part of that filing, included a stipulation that any future shareholders would have to resolve claims through arbitration rather than in a trial. The firm announced it was dropping the provision on Friday, after members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noted they would not authorize the IPO as long as the provision was in play.

In the wake of the Carlyle Group's reversal, Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “I'm enormously pleased that Carlyle has…sent a message to the financial community about the unfairness of arbitration.” The Senator's feelings regarding arbitration are echoed by many consumer advocates, who believe that arbitration favors large companies by making it too costly for plaintiffs to bring cases and by making it harder to receive large awards. That may be why we see a trend toward large companies forcing settlements and limiting the right to file suit.

Examples of Forced Abandonment of Future Claims

One needs only examine the offered Costa Concordia settlements to see an example of forced abandonment of future claims. In that instance, cruise ship operators offered all passengers a blanket settlement of $14,000. If the passengers accepted, each would have to abandon any claims against the operator in the future (see earlier posts for an in-depth discussion of this issue). When contrasted with the Carlyle Group's implied admission that filing suit is a protected right, the actions of the Costa Concordia operators seem particularly underhanded.

Why the Right to Trial By Jury Matters

One of the pillars of the American legal system is the ability of wronged parties to file lawsuits against those who have caused them harm. This is a crucial part of the American justice system—a benchmark and an important aspect of American public and private life. In this country, anyone—no matter their wealth, status, or socioeconomic background—has the right to pursue damages against any individual or organization that has wronged them, and take them to court over an issue of injustice. We at Arnold & Itkin LLP believe that this right is worth protecting, preserving, and fighting for.

Learn Why You Should Choose Arnold & Itkin LLP for Your Case

At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are passionate about fighting for those who have been injured or suffered loss related to another party’s actions or inaction. We are passionate about our work, committed to our clients, and dedicated to effective representation that achieves winning results on behalf of those we stand for. Our track record includes more than $1 billion recovered in successful verdicts and settlements in the last five years alone. Understanding your rights is essential. We can help you find out what your options are when it counts.

Call a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today

If you have been involved in a conflict or accident, and the defendant in your case is attempting to take away your legal right to file a lawsuit over the issue, you need to speak with a Houston trial attorney immediately. An experienced litigator from Arnold & Itkin LLP can advise you on appropriate legal action during your free consultation. Contact a Houston injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin LLP today. Any information you share with us remains completely confidential. Call (888) 493-1629 for more information, starting with a free case review.

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