Today The New York Times reported how some websites and social media networks have streamlined the access to court documents, causing public humiliation for the plaintiffs. Specifically, the article mentions sexual harassment claimants’ lawsuits, a very personal and humiliating claim.
Filing a lawsuit in court is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides you a public forum in which to hash out your legal issues and personal information. This may garner attention from similiarly-situated plaintiffs who want to join your lawsuit, maybe form a class action. Additionally, it may alert potential witnesses to the matter who can reach out and help the case. However, it may also provide unwanted attention from the media and judgey social media users. This fishbowl affect may lead to increased stress that a lawsuit doesn’t already cause, and may damage relationship and future employment opportunities.
In contrast, a plaintiff who decides to resolve a dispute in private arbitration, is shielded from public scrutiny. Something corporate defendants are longing for and engage in with business to business commerical arbitrations.
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