Pastor, Church & Law
Key Point 8-27 Churches have various defenses available to them if they are sued as a result of a personal injury. One such defense is an arbitration policy. By adopting an arbitration policy, a church can compel members to arbitrate specified disputes with their church rather than pursue their claim in the civil courts.
The arbitration of disputes has many potential advantages over litigation in the civil courts. Consider the following:
- Faster resolution of disputes
- Lower attorneys' fees
- Arbitration awards are often less than civil court judgments
- Little if any risk of punitive damages, or astronomical verdicts out of proportion to the alleged wrong
- Disputes are resolved privately, with little or no media attention
- The spectacle of plaintiffs' attorneys appealing to the emotions of juries through courtroom theatrics is eliminated
This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."
Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.