Litigating & Arbitrating Cases
Parisis G. (“Gerry”) Filippatos has successfully represented both individuals and groups in federal and state court litigation over the past three decades. Filippatos PLLC has had great success litigating cases in various areas of employment law, including single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class actions. Filippatos PLLC has also been arbitrating cases for many years. Arbitration is an alternative type of dispute resolution to commencing an action in court. Some employers make arbitration mandatory as a condition of employment. Whenever possible, Filippatos PLLC will challenge mandatory arbitration agreements governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) of 1925 that threaten to prevent our clients from having their day in court before a jury of their peers.
Administrative Tribunals are agencies at all levels of government – federal, state, and local – that investigate and sometimes adjudicate labor and employment disputes. These agencies are part of the executive function of government and are usually presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). Agency adjudications may be conducted through hearings or trials. Such administrative tribunals include CCHRO, EEOC, FINRA, NLRB, NYCCHR, NYSCHR, and OATH. While court actions are public, administrative tribunals are usually conducted in private.
Hearings and trials are proceedings that occur before both Administrative Tribunals and Courts. While hearings involve discrete legal issues that have to be decided during the course of a case, trials result in one party winning and the other losing the case. A trial ends in a verdict that is rendered by a jury, except when it is a “bench trial,” where the verdict is returned by a judge.
Mandatory arbitration is enforced by some employers as a condition of employment. Employees try to evade arbitration agreements that their employers forced them to sign on grounds such as coercion, unconscionability, or lack of clarity. Policy arguments against mandatory arbitration – sometimes called “cram-down arbitration” – include the unfair bargaining power that employers hold over employees. Challenging mandatory arbitration agreements is an uphill battle in most jurisdictions because of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) of 1925, which contains very strong provisions in favor of arbitration and enforcing arbitration agreements. Often mandatory arbitration is part of a more comprehensive ADR program that includes stepped procedures – where parties go from direct negotiations, to mediation, to arbitration – and provisions regarding the allocation of fees and costs that reflect the entitlements embodied in the corresponding statutes governing court actions.
Hearings and Trials
Hearings and trials are proceedings that occur both before Administrative Tribunals and Courts. While hearings involve discrete legal issues that have to be decided during the course of a case, trials result in one party winning and the other losing the case. A trial ends in a verdict that is rendered by a jury, except when it is a “bench trial,” where the verdict is returned by a judge.