Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary:

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.

Plaintiffs / Claimants

  • Do I get paid once an Award has been issued?

    Not necessarily. The parties are encouraged to resolve the Award after it is issued but if the parties cannot reach an agreement after the Award is issued, the prevailing party is entitled to seek to convert or reduce the Award into an enforceable court judgment. 

  • 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.  

  • 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). 

  • 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.  

  • 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 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.  

  • What law will the Judge apply to my case?

    The E-Judge will typically apply the law of the state in which the Claim arose, unless there is an agreement or contract that requires the application of a different jurisdiction’s law. If there is a dispute as to which law applies, the E-Judge will evaluate that aspect of the dispute and make a determination as to which law applies.

  • Can I provide legal citations (caselaw) to the Judge if I believe they support my Claim or defense?

    Yes. You can provide these when you create your Claim or upload and describe your evidence before the case is finalized and submitted to the Judge.

  • What is an Award and what do I do with it?

    Similar to traditional arbitration and mediation, Brief is a private service and renders the parties in a dispute an Award (decision).  Again, similar to traditional arbitration and mediation, the Award will be a one-to-two page document that summarizes the Claim, the E-Judge’s decision, and why they decided in that way. That Award can then, at the choice of the prevailing (winning) party, be filed with the appropriate court to be converted into a legally binding judgment.

  • 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. 

  • What’s a judgment?

    In the context of arbitration, a judgment is when a court with proper jurisdiction reduces or confirms the Award and converts into an enforceable court judgment.  

  • Is the Award legally binding?

    Yes, it is a final determination of the merits of the dispute (Claim).  But to become enforceable, the prevailing (winning) party must file the Award with the appropriate court to convert it into a court judgment.  

  • If I’m not happy with the decision from the E-Judge, can arbitration be appealed?

    An arbitration Award can only be appealed if the disputing parties agreed to an appealable Award in their original contract or in some other binding agreement.  

  • What if I lose an Brief Claim?

    Unfortunately, in every dispute, there are winners and non-winners. Once an Award is rendered (posted) by Brief, it is up to the prevailing (winning) party to have that Award converted into a Judgment.  All of the parties’ rights (Plaintiff or Defendant) are preserved in connection with that Judgment process. To avoid future adverse consequences, many parties will try and resolve the matter informally at this stage before the Award is converted to a Judgment but that is up to the parties themselves to try and accomplish that.

  • Is there a cost to use Brief? Who pays?

    The fees to use Brief are paid by the Plaintiff, so there is no up-front cost to the Defendant. However, the Plaintiff may seek reimbursement of those fees through the Brief dispute process and, if the Plaintiff prevails (wins), those fees paid by the Plaintiff to Brief may be included in the Final Award total.  

    Our policy is that the party initiating the case is the party responsible for the initial cost of arbitration unless the parties otherwise agree to split or shift those fees. (In those instances the Brief administrator should be contacted to facilitate a shared payment.) 

  • Have further questions than our FAQs have addressed?

    Please feel free to email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to answer your questions.

  • Proving My Case When There is a Default (Where Defendant does not respond).

    What type of evidence do I need to upload in the event that the Defendant/Respondent does not join the platform in order to obtain a default Judgment?

    If the claim is a breach of  a (monetary) contract (with or without common counts), you have to provide evidence of the contract, its terms, an event of default, demand for payment (the arbitration claim actually serves as the demand once sent to the respondent or served), balance due and an accounting of the monies due and owing. 

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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.  

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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.