FAQs and Glossary

FAQs

Is eQuibbly a government court of law?
Who will be deciding the outcome of my dispute?
What kinds of disputes can be resolved on eQuibbly?
What laws are used to determine the outcome of a dispute?
Is the judgment on eQuibbly legally binding?
How does eQuibbly Work?
Does it cost anything to use eQuibbly?
Who pays for eQuibbly's services and what fee do I pay?
Is my credit card data or other payment information safe with you?
How do I hire a Judge to resolve my dispute?
How do I convince the Defendant to use eQuibbly instead of going to court?
What oath do Judges take before being accepted on eQuibbly?
How does eQuibbly use my information?
Is my data secure?
Who can see my dispute?
Is video conferencing available?
Do I need to use my real name?
What browsers are supported?
What is Online Dispute Resolution?
What is arbitration?
What style of arbitration does eQuibbly use?
What are my options if the other Party does not abide by the Judges decision on eQuibbly?
What are my options if I think the Judges's decision is incorrect?
What clause should I put in my future agreements to ensure that eQuibbly is used to resolve any dispute?
What if there is an arbitration clause in an agreement signed by another party, but that party refuses arbitration?
How do I resend an invitation to the Defendant?
How do I upload a profile photo or avatar?
How do we contact you?

GLOSSARY

ADR
Award or Arbitral Award
Arbitration
Arbitrator
Binding Arbitration
Defendant
Judge
New York Convention
Online Arbitration
Plaintiff
Small Claims Court

Is eQuibbly a government court of law?

No. eQuibbly is a private organization; we have no affiliation with any government body. Private entities are permitted by law in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa and many other countries to decide cases and hand down legally-binding decisions called Awards through a process known as arbitration. These arbitration Awards can be can be confirmed (converted into a court judgment) and enforced in court if a Party does not honor it.

Who will be deciding the outcome of my dispute?

Your case will be decided by a former Official Trial Judge with years of experience deciding civil cases in court. eQuibbly has assembled a team of highly respected former official Judges who presided over trials in government courts in the U.S. and Canada. The Judges have retired from their official duties and are now conducting private arbitrations for eQuibbly. You can view their experience and qualifications on the Judges page.

What kinds of disputes can be resolved on eQuibbly?

Most types of business and personal disputes can be resolved on eQuibbly. There are a few exceptions which cannot be resolved on eQuibbly such as disputes dealing with divorce, child custody, spousal and child support, and crimes.

  1. Business dispute examples: partnership disagreements, non-payment for goods or services, inadequate goods or services delivered after payment, debts owing, breach of contract, employment, landlord-tenant, real estate agreements, et cetera. eQuibbly is able to resolve many other business disputes.

  2. Personal dispute examples: personal injury, property damage, fence disputes, arguments with neighbors, arguments between friends and family, co-worker issues, condominium, pets, et cetera. eQuibbly is able to resolve many other personal disputes.

Other examples of disputes you can resolve on eQuibbly:

  • Your landlord will not return your security deposit.
  • Your tenant refusing to pay for damages in excess of the security deposit.
  • Your car was damaged and the person responsible will not pay for repairs.
  • A merchant refusing to replace, repair or refund faulty merchandise you purchased.
  • A person refusing to return money or property you loaned them.
  • A driver refusing to pay for repairs after damaging your car.

What laws are used to determine the outcome of a dispute?

Cases on eQuibbly are decided based on North American legal principles and what is fair and just given the circumstances and the facts surrounding the dispute, not the technical laws of any one state or province. Examples of North American legal principles include: the right for private parties to enter into private contracts; a contract consists of voluntary promises between competent parties to do, or not to do, something, which the law will enforce; freedom of speech; equality before the law; separation of church and state, et cetera.

Unlike in government courts, your case won't be decided based on a technicality or a rule that doesn't make sense. Unlike in government courts, Judges on eQuibbly are not influenced by how well-spoken you are, or whether you can afford an expensive attorney who knows how to manipulate the laws and loopholes to one party's advantage.

Is the judgment on eQuibbly legally binding?

Yes. Arbitration is a legally-binding way of resolving disputes outside the court system. Private entities are permitted by similar laws in many countries to decide cases and hand down legally-binding decisions called Arbitral Awards that are enforceable in a court of law on a summary motion. Settlement agreements or other signed contracts are not enforceable in this manner - to enforce them you would have to first litigate the matter. The purpose of arbitration is to bypass litigation and end up with an enforceable decision.

eQuibbly provides a pre-arbitration agreement which the Parties sign online. In this agreement the Parties agree to abide by eQuibbly's Arbitration Rules and to be legally bound by the Judge's decision. The Judge's decision is provided in writing in the form of an Arbitral Award which is signed by the Judge. The Award incorporates the winning resolution. Each Party is provided with a copy of the signed agreement and an official Award.

How does eQuibbly Work?

eQuibbly uses a simple process to help you resolve your dispute quickly and fairly online. We have assembled a team of highly respected Judges, who presided over trials in courts of law in the U.S. and Canada. The whole process takes place online in one secure location where the parties explain their disagreement, upload evidence, answer the Judge's questions, and receive an official legally-binding judgment.

Go to the How It Works page for details.

Does it cost anything to use eQuibbly?

There is one low flat fee to have your case decided by a former Official Trial Judge. The Judges' qualifications and experience can be found on the Judges page.

Flat fees can be found on our Pricing page.

Who pays for eQuibbly's services and what fee do I pay?

The Plaintiff filing the case will pay one flat fee depending on the complexity of the case and the number of documents and witnesses there are. We use these categories for fees because the more complex a dispute, the more time a Judge will have to spend on it. Flat fees can be found on our Pricing page.

The Plaintiff can recover the fee if they win their case and they have added it to their "Proposed Resolution" in their claim. We structure it this way so that the Defendant has an incentive to resolve the dispute on eQuibbly rather than in court: If the Defendant wins the case on eQuibbly they do not have to pay a fee, whereas in court they will have to pay it even if they win.

Is my credit card data or other payment information safe with you?

We do NOT store any of your confidential payment information on our servers. We use a well-known payment process, Stripe, to process all payments. Stripe is certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, the most stringent level of certification available. You can confirm their certification in Visa's registry of service providers. Stripe is also a participant in the PCI Security Standards Council.

How do I hire a Judge to resolve my dispute?

  1. First log into your account or create one if you don't yet have one. Start by clicking the "Get Started" or "Resolve a Dispute" button at the top of the screen and fill in all the fields required;

  2. Based on the information you provide, eQuibbly's administrator will decide which Judge has the appropriate expertise necessary to hear your case and assign it them.

The administrator and the Judge have sworn an oath to maintain the confidentiality of the information you provide.

How do I convince the Defendant to use eQuibbly instead of going to court?

  1. You may want to send them these links that provide more information about eQuibbly and that outline the advantages of using online arbitration: "Why Use eQuibbly to Resolve Your Disputes" and "About eQuibbly" and "How It Works".

  2. Explain to the Defendant that if they win their case on eQuibbly, they do not have to pay anything. If you force them to go to court, even if they win, they will usually have to pay an initial filing fee and then additional fees for almost everything they do in court, including having a witness testify or bringing a motion. Then there are the added costs of parking, travel and time off work. The Defendant will almost certainly have to hire an attorney since litigation in court is very complex and one mistake can result in a loss, or the case being thrown out. In most jurisdictions the Party will not be able to recover these costs even if they win (although in some jurisdictions outside the U.S. they can sometimes recover part of these costs).

  3. Even if the other party does not initially want to use arbitration, remember that it can be used at any time - even after a lawsuit has been filed.

What oath do the Judges take before being accepted on eQuibbly?

Prior to being approved for listing on eQuibbly, the Judges have to accept the following oath:

I do solemnly swear and affirm that I understand and I will:

  1. Provide truthful and accurate information to all Parties and eQuibbly about my qualification, experience and credentials.

  2. Fairly, impartially and justly conduct my activities as a neutral based only upon the merits of each case.

  3. Disclose to all Parties and eQuibbly as soon as possible any information which could call into question my impartiality or lack of independence.

  4. Conduct my activities as a neutral in a prompt and professional fashion.

  5. Comply with all applicable ethical rules, regulations and standards as from time to time adopted by eQuibbly, or by the ADR and ODR industry in North America.

  6. Diligently apply all rules and procedures as agreed upon by the Parties or specified by eQuibbly.

  7. Keep all information obtained from the Parties confidential and not disclose that information to any other individual, nor use that information other than for the sole purpose of executing my duties as a neutral, without the express consent and authorization of all of the Parties.

How does eQuibbly use my information?

Your information is only available to you and those you choose to share it with. eQuibbly does NOT share or sell your information to third-parties, including advertisers. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Is my data secure?

The security of your personal information is very important to us. When you enter confidential information we encrypt that information using banking level 256-bit encryption technology over SSL. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect your personal information, both during transmission and once we receive it. No method of transmission or storage is one-hundred percent secure so we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

We do NOT store any of your confidential payment information on our servers. We use a well-known payment process, Stripe, to process all payments. Stripe is certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, the most stringent level of certification available. You can confirm their certification in Visa's registry of service providers. Stripe is also a participant in the PCI Security Standards Council.

Who can see my dispute?

All disputes are private. The only people who can access the virtual dispute room and see the information posted are the Judge, the other Party and the people you choose to share it with.

Is video conferencing available?

Currently we encourage all Parties to use Skype group video when a Judge requests a video conference. A video conference will not be necessary in all cases. The Judge will have the "Skype Premium" account needed to initiate a group video conference, so the Parties will only need a basic free Skype account. You will find audio and video conferencing recommendations on our "Helpful Resources" page.

Do I need to use my real name?

Yes. You are required to use your full legal name or registered business name.

What browsers are supported?

IE 9 and higher. Chrome 24 and higher. Firefox 19 and higher. Safari 5 and higher. iPhone, iPad, Android.

What is Online Dispute Resolution?

Online Dispute Resolution, commonly known as "ODR", is the online version of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and includes mediation and arbitration; it is basically any form of dispute resolution that does not rely on litigation and the judicial court system. Arbitration uses a process that is similar to litigation, but without all the formal complex rules and procedures that govern litigation. It is a private process and is not conducted by the government.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is the submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a final and legally-binding decision. Decisions are made in writing and usually preclude a chance for appeal. Disputing parties refer their disagreement to a mutually acceptable, knowledgeable, neutral and independent third-party, and agree in advance to be legally bound by the their decision. Arbitration is similar to litigation in many respects except that it is typically quicker, more convenient, and significantly less costly than litigation. Parties to the dispute can usually save many thousands of dollars.

What style of arbitration does eQuibbly use?

The style of arbitration used is known as "Baseball Arbitration" or "Final Offer Arbitration", where the arbitrator must choose to award one of the Parties' Proposed Resolutions. The arbitrator cannot award anything significantly different from one of the resolutions proposed by the Parties. The arbitrator may grant any remedy or relief proposed by the winning party that the arbitrator deems just and equitable and within the scope of the agreement of the Parties, including, but not limited to, specific performance of a contract.

What are my options if the other Party does not abide by the Judge's decision on eQuibbly?

This very rarely happens. It is highly unlikely that the other Party would risk ignoring the Award since they agree in the pre-arbitration contract to pay for all your costs to enforce it if they don't abide by the Award, including hiring an attorney to help you.

But if it becomes necessary, you can ask a court, in a summary motion, to "confirm the Award" (convert it into a judgment) and then enforce it just like you would any court Judgment (e.g. seize assets, garnish bank accounts and wages). If the Award is for a local dispute (not international), it can be converted into a judgment under that Country's or State's/Province's applicable arbitration Act. If the Award is for a cross-border commercial dispute, it can be confirmed and enforced in any of the 148 countries that are signatories to the New York Convention.

Although confirmation of the Award requires judicial involvement, it is typically a summary proceeding which is relatively quick and inexpensive - it is NOT litigation and NO trial is required. The various State/Provincial and Federal arbitration Acts (legislation on arbitration) have laws dealing with arbitration awards and they express a presumption that courts will convert arbitration awards (the arbitrators' decision) into court judgment on a simple application to the court, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as fraud, or obvious and extreme bias. Of course you must go to court for this. The court plays a mostly administrative role in converting the Award into a court judgment. The Party simply has to follow the applicable procedures and rules for this type of application in a court which has proper jurisdiction, and the confirmed Award becomes an enforceable judgment.

Different locations have different time limitations for confirming an Award, typically between 1 year and 3 years from the date the Award is made.

*This is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. You should seek competent legal counsel for any legal advice if one Party doesn't honor the Award and it becomes necessary to enforce it.

What are my options if I think the Judge's decision is incorrect?

Generally there is no right to appeal a Judge's Award from eQuibbly. However, there are a few specific limited instances where a court may grant an appeal, or vacate or correct the Award. This usually only happens when the Party can prove their was fraud or corruption or something seriously wrong or illegal. There are time limits in which you must make an application to the court; these differ depending on the situation but it can be as few as 30 days.

*It is best to seek competent legal counsel for legal advice in these situations.

What clause should I put in my future agreements to ensure that eQuibbly is used to resolve any dispute?

The parties to a contract can provide for arbitration of future disputes by inserting the following clause into their contracts:

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by final and binding arbitration administered by eQuibbly online at www.eQuibbly.com under its Arbitration Rules, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof for enforcement purposes.

What if there is an arbitration clause in an agreement signed by another Party, but that party refuses arbitration?

Generally courts in the United States and Canada and many other countries will compel the other Party to participate in the arbitration upon proof that the written agreement to arbitrate exists. Generally if such an agreement exists, even if the other Party refuses to participate, the arbitration can proceed in their absence and a court of competent jurisdictions will likely enforce the award. However, there are exceptions to every rule. It is best to seek competent legal counsel in these situations.*

How do I resend an invitation to the Defendant?

Currently, if you need to resend the invitation to the Defendant, the only way to do so is to ask us to do it for you. Please email us your request by clicking on the "email" link at the bottom of this page and make sure to send the request from the email address you use to log in to your account.

How do I upload a profile photo or avatar?

Go to your account profile by clicking on your name at the top right corner of the screen. Choose "Edit Profile". Next to the "Avatar" label click on the "Choose File" button and choose the file you want to upload from your computer. The photo you choose should be smaller than 3MB. Then click the blue "Update Profile" button near the bottom of the page to save it to your profile.

How do we contact you?

If you have any questions, first look at the FAQs page on eQuibbly and if the answer is not there, contact us using the "Help - Contact us" tab you see on the right side of every page. Or you can find our email address and phone number at the bottom of our home page. We will make every effort to get back to you within 24 hours and typically much sooner.

GLOSSARY

ADR

Alternative Dispute Resolution. An ADR process is a method of resolving a dispute out of court. Mediation and Arbitration are the most widely used ADR processes.

Award or Arbitral Award

An arbitral Award or "arbitration Award" refers to a decision made by an arbitrator or a Judge in an arbitration proceeding. An arbitral Award is analogous to a judgment in a court of law.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a means of resolving disputes outside the courts, where the Parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (an "Arbitrator" by whose decision they agree to be bound. It is an alternative dispute resolution technique in which a neutral third-party reviews the evidence in the case presented by the Parties and imposes a decision that is legally-binding for both sides and enforceable in a court of law. Arbitrators do not have to follow the stringent rules and procedures or the technical Rules of Evidence used in a court. Arbitrators follow a set of rules established by eQuibbly and are encouraged to be fair and equitable in their decisions rather than apply legislated law or laws established by the courts.

Private entities are permitted by law in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa and many other countries to decide cases and hand down legally-binding decisions called "awards" through arbitration.

Arbitrator

Arbitrator is a general term to describe someone who decides cases with a written decision or "arbitral award". An arbitral award can either be "binding" or "non-binding" depending on what the Parties agree to prior to arbitration.

Binding Arbitration

In Binding Arbitration the Parties in the dispute agree in advance that the decision by the arbitrator(s) will be legally binding and enforceable in court. The decision and the award made by the arbitrator(s) is legally binding and must be honored by both Parties. Usually a court will not allow a decision or award to be appealed.

Defendant

The person who responds to a complaint filed by the Plaintiff.

Judge

A Judge on eQuibbly is a former government judge who has retired from his or her official duties and now conducts private arbitrations on eQuibbly. A Judge is assigned by eQuibbly to serve as the impartial third-party who will decide the outcome of a dispute.

New York Convention The common term used to refer to the "The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards". The Convention requires courts of the 148 countries that are signatories to the Convention to give effect to private agreements to arbitrate and to recognize and enforce arbitration Awards made in other contracting countries. Although it applies to "foreign" arbitral awards, the term "foreign" has been interpreted to include cross-state and provincial borders within the U.S. and Canada.

Online Arbitration

Online arbitration, in its pure form, is an arbitration where the whole arbitration process is conducted entirely online. This includes conducting the hearing online in a secured virtual room where the arbitrator can ask the Parties questions, uploading, sharing and viewing evidence online, and receiving the final arbitration award online. Most companies that claim to offer online arbitration, only provide part of the arbitration process online. For instance, Parties may be able to download claim forms but will then have to submit them via unsecured email. Instead of holding the hearing online it might be conducted via telephone, or email, or in person. eQuibbly offers online arbitration in its purest form.

Plaintiff

The person initiating the dispute resolution process on eQuibbly (also known as the claimant).

Small Claims Court

Small claims court is a government-run civil court in which a person or company may sue another person or company to collect a limited amount of money that the plaintiff believes is owed to them. The maximum monetary limit one can be awarded in a judgment is typically in the thousands-of-dollars and differs by state, province, and jurisdiction the court is in. Small claims court is primarily used to resolve small monetary disputes, but depending on the jurisdiction, it also may be used for evictions and the recovery of property and a few other miscellaneous civil actions. Whether or not a person may be represented by a lawyer in court also differs by jurisdiction. Usually small claims cases are heard by 'magistrates', 'judicial officers', 'deputy judges', or 'clerks', who are appointed by the court, but are not official Judges. They are usually attorneys, but depending on the jurisdiction, they may not be practicing attorneys and may not even have a law degree.