Frequently Asked Questions


Plaintiff: The party making the Claim. 

Defendant: The party against whom the Claim is made.

Claim: The Plaintiff’s legal and factual allegation against the Defendant.

E-Judge: The party deciding who prevails (wins) in the dispute.

Discovery: The process in which the parties request information from each other.

Award: Written determination by the Judge as to who prevails (wins) the dispute.

Jurisdiction: The authority granted to the court to hear a case.

Counter Claim: An additional Claim by the defendant against the plaintiff.

Defendants / Respondents

  • Is there a discovery phase?

    Due to the nature of the Claims that Brief will decide, discovery by the parties is not permitted. However, the E-Judge is allowed to ask substantive questions of the parties at their own discretion and only if needed. 

  • Can I challenge an arbitration award once it is issued?

    Under federal and state laws, there are ways to challenge an arbitration award. The Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and some state laws provide the reasons why an award can be vacated (thrown out), modified (changed), or corrected. Those reasons are very limited in general. Please review the FAA or the applicable state law to understand the standards for modification, correction or being vacated.

  • What if I need advice?

    Brief will not and cannot provide any legal advice or legal assistance.  As such, we recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice from your own attorney.  

  • I would like to settle my debt; what are my options?

    Brief can facilitate a settlement between the Plaintiff and you after you register online here.

  • Is my Claim or defense a private or public record?

    Because Brief is a private company, the records you submit are stored and encrypted in our secure database and subject to our Privacy Policy. However, because this is a legal dispute those records may, at some point, become part of a public filing after an Award has been rendered.

  • What if I disagree with the forum of Brief?

    If you disagree with Brief as the forum for this dispute, you should immediately consult an attorney.  Failure to formally object may waive your right to object to this forum at a later date and the E-judge retains the ability to determine jurisdiction.  

  • What if I am not the person mentioned within the Claim?

    Please immediately contact Brief at [email protected] so that we can review, correct, or withdraw the Claim.  

  • I don’t recognize the plaintiff; is this my debt?

    If you don’t recognize the plaintiff or this obligation, please immediately contact Brief at [email protected] so that we can review, correct, or withdraw the Claim.

  • Do I get an opportunity to dispute the Claim?

    Yes, Brief will guide you through the online dispute process, and you will have more than one opportunity to present your case and to upload your supporting evidence or documents. 

  • Do I have to respond to a Claim?

    Brief recommends that you consult with an attorney, but failure to respond to a Claim may result in a default Award or judgment against you. 

  • What are my rights?

    Brief recommends that you consult with an attorney as you have the right to defend the Claim against you.

  • Can the E-Judge ask questions of the litigants?

    Yes, if there is a question of fact or evidence, the E-Judge will ask the parties to clarify information and may ask for additional written testimony, evidence or documents.  

  • Can I modify or edit my Claim?

    Yes, but only for a certain amount of time (a few weeks for each step). Brief provides you with a structured Claim review and Response protocol (with an associated time frame) that allows you to modify parts of a Claim at certain stages.  Once the Claim is finalized and submitted by Brief to the E-Judge, the E-Judge will consider all information and evidence submitted in their final decision (Award). 

  • What if I disagree with the evidence that has been presented by the other party?

    You will be given the opportunity to object to the evidence and present any counter-evidence or written testimony you deem appropriate.  

  • What information/evidence do I need to provide to the Judge to make my Claim or create my Response?

    Brief will give you with the opportunity to provide the facts and circumstances that you feel prove your Claim (supporting evidence) and will request that you upload all supporting evidence in the form of documentation (files, emails) or pictures. That evidence plus your written Claim or Response will be reviewed by the Judge to determine whether your Claim is supported by the evidence you provided. 

  • How do I present my evidence? What types of evidence can I present?

    You will be given multiple opportunities to upload evidence, which includes documents, emails, photos, transcripts, affidavits/declarations, video, audio, contracts, emails, text messages, etc. 

  • What is Brief?

    Brief is an online dispute resolution platform designed to quickly and cost-effectively arbitrate disputes. It is designed to allow the parties to present their Claims, defenses, arguments, and evidence through its online portal and have a professional arbitrator decide the dispute between the parties.

  • Who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant?

    The plaintiff is typically the party that initiates the arbitration process. The defendant is the party against whom the plaintiff has asserted his/her/its Claim. 

  • I received an unsolicited email from Brief stating that I am a Defendant in an Brief case. What does this mean?

    If you received a notice of a Claim filed against you, you can register on Brief and then you will be able to review that Claim (registration is not an admission of responsibility).  You can then respond to that Claim and have it submitted to the E-Judge for resolution.  Review of the Claim is without obligation to participate in the arbitration, however failure to respond may result in adverse legal consequences.  If you are unsure we recommend you seek the advice of an attorney. 

  • Do I need a lawyer?

    Brief is designed for anyone to use the service but you are not precluded from hiring a lawyer if you require a lawyer’s assistance. Brief does not encourage or discourage the use of attorneys for these disputes and it is up to the Plaintiff and Defendant to each decide if they require legal assistance. If you decide to have a lawyer handle your Claim for you, your lawyer simply logs in as you and completes the Brief process for you.

  • How long does the Brief process take?

    Most of our participants get to an Award in an average of 45 days, start to finish, a fraction of the time it takes traditional courts, arbitration, or mediation to decide a case.

  • Are the E-Judges supervised?

    Exactly like traditional arbitration and mediation, Brief E-Judges are independent triers of fact and their decisions and determinations are their own. However, we have an Oversight Committee that will review some Awards before they are finalized to ensure quality and accuracy. If the Committee has any questions about the Award it will give those questions to the E-Judge as need be, prior to the E-Judge rendering their Award. The committee will never ask an E-Judge to change their legal determinations. 

  • Are the Judges paid for their work?

    Yes, they are paid a flat fee. 

  • Can I contact the E-Judge directly?

    We take communications with the E-Judge as seriously as any court of law would. So, all communications to the E-Judge are only at the E-Judge’s request and only through the Brief dashboard and platform. E-Judge communications will be sent simultaneously to both parties as will any Responses. 

    If you contact our Brief E-Judge outside of the Brief system on an active Brief case, our E-Judge is precluded (not allowed) to reply or otherwise engage with you outside the platform.

  • Who are the judges, and how are they selected?

    Our judges (E-Judges) are lawyers, professionals, or retired judges who have at least ten years of experience and that have no record of bar discipline. 

    To ensure timeliness and efficiency, E-Judges are automatically selected for each case; litigants do not get to select them. Each E-Judge is selected by their jurisdiction and their areas of expertise or knowledge.  

    Our E-Judges are evaluated internally on the quality and timeliness of their Awards as well as through feedback from participants on Brief.

  • What Claim sizes are appropriate for Brief’s dispute resolution platform?

    When it pertains to a monetary dispute, Brief is designed to handle Claims that are $500,000 or less. Brief can also handle declaratory relief actions and other types of Claims that may or may not have a monetary component. 

    If you are unsure if Brief is the proper forum for your Claim or dispute, please contact us at [email protected].  

  • Is arbitration confidential?

    In most instances arbitration is confidential and the documents uploaded and shared with Brief are subject to its privacy policy and terms. 

  • What is the difference between arbitration and mediation?

    Mediation usually takes place before arbitration and is a method for disputing parties to have a neutral third party listen to both sides of the dispute. That neutral party can then make recommendations to the parties to settle or resolve that dispute so that the parties can avoid litigation or further arbitration. 

    Mediation is non-binding, whereas arbitration, in most instances, including on the Brief platform, is binding and cannot be appealed.  

  • What is Brief not a good fit for?

    Brief does not handle employment Claims, evictions, torts or personal injury, fraud or negligence.

  • What is Brief a good fit for?

    Brief is ideal for monetary claims, collection actions, promissory note disputes, rent collection, declaratory relief, and breach of contract Claims.

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    — Great, you've got your arbitration clause, but now what? —

    Three important tips when updating your agreement with the Brief arbitration clause: 

    With your Brief arbitration clause, you now have your venue: Brief’s Online Platform. You’ll have your jurisdiction: All disputes arising from the Agreement will be decided exclusively by Brief, and lastly, you’ll have your choice of law to be applied.

    Keep in mind that these are suggestions and not legal advice. Whenever you update your agreements, it’s essential that you have an attorney review and approve.