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ARBITRATION ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST WAY TO GO I compliment Steven F. Fink of Dallas, Texas, for his capital ideain your Feb. 19 edition in which he recommends employers use mandatory jury trial waivers in employment contracts rather than mandatory, binding arbitration. That same recommendation could apply to other parties in a superior bargaining position such as banks with depository contracts, health maintenance organizations with membership contracts, contractors with subcontractors, real estate brokers with clients and architects and engineers with design contracts. Mr. Fink accurately observes that many employers (probably all who use written employment contracts) have abandoned the courts in favor of arbitration. That is a central reason for the diminution in filing of civil actions steadily over the past eight years in California. Arbitration forces those in weaker bargaining positions not only to surrender their right to adjudication of claims in a court system for which they pay taxes, but it compels appellate courts to protect parties with inferior bargaining strength by creating new law via theories and rules that also produce business uncertainty as to whether a particular arbitration clause will survive an adhesion or unconscionability attack. Mr. Fink’s arguments are indisputable. The ordinary tax-paying citizen expects the court system to be available, as needed, to anyone in society. Quentin L. Kopp Redwood City

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