Alternative Dispute Resolution
The case of Fulcher vs, 24 Hour Fitness
Professor Shannon Allen
When a business is sued by a current or former employee, customer or other third party that business can either take that case to trial or try to solve the issue by going through an alternative dispute resolution process or ADR. By addressing grievances through ADR a business will be able to solve the matter in a mutual agreeable way that save money and time. Also it reduces the risk of negative public scrutiny or loss of public trust or reputation. Here I will discuss the case of Fulcher vs 24 Hour Fitness. I will discuss the difference between the processes of ...view middle of the document...
Civil litigation is costly due to unwanted publicity, aggravation and damaged business relationships. Litigation can also affect the growth of business especially small businesses. (Willey, Lorne, 2005) Gallup polls show that small businesses have claimed they do not hire more employees, expand business, or introduce new products due to fear of litigation.
Once a person decides to sue the defendant must also be notified that they are being sued. The defendant is notified by being served a summons. A summons provides the defendant with the name of the person that is suing him and lets them know when they are to appear in court. A summons usually also contains information about the reasons they are being sued. The 24 Hour Fitness case involves issues of discrimination. When business disputes involve issues of discrimination the business can also be financially affected due to the sensitive nature of the issue. (Hirsh and Cha), studies show that investors may see accusations of unethical practices as a potential threat to a business’ market value and reputation which may lead to that investor withdrawing their investment.
Once the summons is served both parties enter pleadings to the court. The plaintiff; the person who filed the claim, provides the court with the reasons or complaint they have against the defendant. The defendant then enters a response or answer to the complaint and at that time can also enter a cross complaint or counterclaim. Once the pleading have been filed the defendant can file a motion. The defendant has the option to file a motion to dismiss or a motion for a judgement on the initial pleadings of the case. If the judge does not see cause for dismissing the case or entering a judgment on the pleadings the case will proceed to trial.
Once the case has been sent to trail the parties enter the discovery phase of the case. Discovery allows the defendant to see the information or evidence that the plaintiff plan on using to prove their case. This allows the defendant to pinpoint the exact reasons why they are being sued and provides them information for which they can dispute. The discovery phase of the trial process can be one of the most expensive parts of the trial process. Through the discovery process either party can request that the matter be settled through a summary judgement. Whoever calls for the summary judgement must prove that the information presented during...