Sample Paper on Implications of the Circuit City v. Adams Case

Topic 1: Implications of the Circuit City v. Adams Case

The case Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams was a dispute that involved an employment dispute, where Saint Clair Adams, a salesman at Circuit City Stores accused the company for violating arbitration clause. The Supreme Court was to rule on whether there was an exclusion of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in relation to an employee of Circuit City Stores.

The district court ruled that Adams was a subject to the company’s arbitration clause, hence, could not seek legal process in state court. However, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for certiorari to resolve a dispute among the circuits by declaring that employment disputes can be handled through arbitration instead of litigation (Bader, 2013). The Court pointed out that Circuit City’s arbitration contract was one-sided, hence could not be enforceable. This case was essential in offering directions on employment relationships because it strived to enforce the arbitration contract within the workplaces

Dissenting opinions are vital in determining employer-employee relationships, as they have the capacity to remove subjective views incorporated in the judgment. Such opinions can act as persuasive authority in subsequent cases involving employment disputes. The three judges who offered dissenting opinions applied the Concepcion concept to test the enforceability of arbitration clauses by interpreting Section 2 of the FAA (Drahozal, 2014). Thus, the judges wanted to ensure that courts should avoid enforcing unfair employment contracts, which could interfere with employer-employee relationships.

The impact of this decision to the current and future employment relations is that employers should conform to the arbitration clauses when resolving cases concerning employees. Arbitration clauses can be beneficial to organizations, as they can assist in saving costs on litigation. Employers can engage their employees in a mediation process, which is capable of enhancing strong relationships.

Topic 2: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) involves processes and techniques applied by various parties that are in disagreement without undergoing a legal process. Some of the ADR techniques include mediation, arbitration, adjudication, negotiation, and conciliation. Statsky (2014) perceived mediation as a technique whereby disagreeing parties allow a neutral third person to facilitate in resolving their dispute, wherein the mediator does not render a decision to resolve the dispute. Arbitration involves allowing a third person, who is a professional arbitrator, to resolve a dispute by offering a final decision that is binding. Conciliation involves allowing a third party to offer different solution, based on the circumstances of the case, in order to reach an agreement.

Embracing ADR process in organizations has some benefits, as well as limitations. Some ADR processes offer quicker solutions compared with court processes. For instance, mediation can offer faster solution to employees who have disagreed with their employer concerning salary increase. Organizations prefer ADR processes because they are flexible, cheaper, and offer long-lasting solutions.

However, ADR processes are liable to favor one side because they rarely offer explanations concerning decisions made to resolve disputes. Limited explanations are offered after arriving at a decision. Unlike in litigation where both parties have to remain throughout the process, a party in mediation has a right to leave before concluding the case. Additionally, power differences can create an imbalance that makes mediations seem unfair.

State and local jurisdictions may encounter problems with ADR process, particularly when a case involves criminal allegations. Individuals can engage in crime and push for a mediation to avoid jail terms. In arbitration, a binding arbitration does not offer compensation to the losing party and decision made by an arbitrator cannot be overturned, even when the case is appealed in court (Spies, 2014). ADR process is incapable of ruling on individuals’ legal rights, for instance on employee discrimination.


Bader, W. R. (2013). Securities arbitration: Practice and forms. New York, NY: Juris Publishing Inc.

Drahozal, C. R. (2014). FAA preemption after concepcion. Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L., 35, 153-175.

Spies, D. R. (2014). Citizen’s guide to mediation and arbitration. S.l.: iUniverse.

Statsky, W. P. (2014). Family law: The essentials.  Stmford, CT: Cengage Learning.