This Arbitration Provision sets forth the circumstances and procedures under which claims (as defined below) shall be arbitrated instead of litigated in court upon the election of either party.
(a) Definitions: As used in this Arbitration Provision, the term “Claim” means any claim, dispute or controversy between you and us, or any of our agents, arising from or relating to this User Agreement as well as any related or prior agreement that you may have had with us or the relationships resulting from this User Agreement, including the validity, enforceability or scope of this Arbitration Provision or the User Agreement. “Claim” includes claims of every kind and nature, including but not limited to initial claims, counterclaims, cross-claims and third-party claims and claims based upon contract, tort, fraud and other intentional torts, statutes, regulations, common law and equity. The term “Claim” is to be given the broadest possible meaning that will be enforced and includes, by way of example and without limitation, any claim, dispute or controversy that arises from or relates to (i) your BrightFi Account, (ii) this User Agreement or (iii) your use of the Services. We shall not elect to use arbitration under the Arbitration Provision for any Claim that you properly file and pursue in a small claims court of your state or municipality so long as the Claim is individual and pending only in that court.
(b) Initiation of Arbitration Proceeding/Selection of Administrator: Any Claim shall be resolved, upon the election by you or us, by arbitration pursuant to this Arbitration Provision and the code of procedures of the national arbitration organization to which the Claim is referred in effect at the time the Claim is filed. Claims shall be referred to either Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (“JAMS”) or the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as selected by the party electing to use arbitration. If a selection by us of one of these organizations is unacceptable to you, you shall have the right within thirty (30) days after you receive notice of our election to select the other organization listed to serve as arbitrator administrator. For a copy of the procedures, to file a Claim or for other information about these organizations, contact them as follows: (i) JAMS at 1920 Main Street, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 92614; website atwww.jamsadr.com; and (ii) AAA at 335 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017; website at www.adr.org
(c) Significance of Arbitration: IF ARBITRATION IS CHOSEN BY ANY PARTY WITH RESPECT TO A CLAIM, NEITHER YOU NOR WE WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO LITIGATE THAT CLAIM IN COURT OR HAVE A JURY TRIAL ON THAT CLAIM, OR TO ENGAGE IN DISCOVERY EXCEPT AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE CODE OF PROCEDURES OF JAMS OR AAA, AS APPLICABLE (THE“CODE”). FURTHER, YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY OR AS A MEMBER OF ANY CLASS OF CLAIMANTS PERTAINING TO ANY CLAIM SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION. THE ARBITRATOR SHALL NOT CONDUCT A CLASS ARBITRATION OR A JOINT ARBITRATION, EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW. THE ARBITRATOR’S DECISION WILL BE FINAL AND BINDING. NOTE THAT OTHER RIGHTS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE IF YOU WENT TO COURT ALSO MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ARBITRATION.
(d) Restrictions on Arbitration: If either party elects to resolve a Claim by arbitration, that Claim shall be arbitrated on an individual basis. There shall be no right or authority for any Claims to be arbitrated on a class action basis or on bases involving Claims brought in a purported representative capacity on behalf of the general public, other Cardholders or other persons similarly situated. The arbitrator’s authority to resolve Claims is limited to Claims between you and us alone, and the arbitrator’s authority to make awards is limited to you and us alone. Furthermore, Claims brought by you against us or by us against you may not be joined or consolidated in arbitration with Claims brought by or against someone other than you, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by all parties. This section of this Arbitration Provision is the “Class Action Waiver.”
(e) Location of Arbitration/Payment of Fees: Any arbitration hearing that you attend shall take place in the federal judicial district of your residence. At your written request, we will consider in good faith making a temporary advance of all or part of the filing administrative and/or hearing fees for any Claim you initiate as to which you or we seek arbitration. At the conclusion of the arbitration (or any appeal thereof), the arbitrator (or panel) will decide who will ultimately be responsible for paying the filing, administrative and/or hearing fees in connection with the arbitration (or appeal). If and to the extent you incur filing, administrative and/or hearing fees in arbitration, including for any appeal, exceeding the amount they would have been if the Claim had been brought in the state or federal court which is closest to your billing address and would have had jurisdiction over the Claim, we will reimburse you to that extent unless the arbitrator (or panel) determines that the fees were incurred without any substantial justification.
(f) Arbitration Procedures: This Arbitration Provision is made pursuant to a transaction involving interstate commerce, and shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, as it may be amended (the “FAA”). The arbitration shall be governed by the applicable Code, except that (to the extent enforceable under the FAA) this arbitration Provision shall control if it is inconsistent with the applicable Code. The arbitrator shall apply applicable substantive law consistent with the FAA and applicable statutes of limitations and shall honor claims of privilege recognized at law and, at the timely request of either party, shall provide a brief written explanation of the basis for the decision. In conducting the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not apply the Federal or any state rules of civil procedure or rules of evidence. Either party may submit a request to the arbitrator to expand the scope of discovery allowable under the applicable Code. The party submitting such a request must provide a copy to the other party, who may submit objections to the arbitrator with a copy of the objections provided to the request party, within 15 days of receiving the requesting party’s notice. The granting or denial of such request will be in the sole discretion of the arbitrator who shall notify the parties of his/her decision within 20 days of the objecting party’s submission. The arbitrator shall take reasonable steps to preserve the privacy of individuals, and of business matters. Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding, except for any right of appeal provided by the FAA. However,any party can appeal that award to a three-arbitrator panel administered by the same arbitration organization, which shall consider anew any aspect of the initial award objected to by the appealing party. The appealing party shall have 30 days from the date of entry of the written arbitration award to notify the arbitration organization that it is exercising the right of appeal. The appeal shall be filed with the arbitration organization in the form of a dated writing. The arbitration organization will then notify the other party that the award has been appealed. The arbitration organization will appoint a three-arbitrator panel which will conduct arbitration pursuant to its Code and issue its decision within 120 days of the date of the appellant’s written notice. The decision of the panel shall be by majority vote and shall be final and binding.
(g) Public Injunctive Relief: If a Claim is brought seeking public injunctive relief and a court determines that the restrictions in the Class Action Waiver and/or elsewhere in this Arbitration Provision prohibiting the arbitrator from awarding relief on behalf of third parties are unenforceable with respect to such Claim (and that determination becomes final after all appeals have been exhausted), the Claim for public injunctive relief will be determined in court and any individual Claims seeking monetary relief will be arbitrated. In such a case the parties will request that the court stay the Claim for public injunctive relief until the arbitration award pertaining to individual relief has been entered in court. In no event will a Claim for public injunctive relief be arbitrated.
(h) No Preclusive Effect: No arbitration award involving the parties will have any preclusive effect as to issues or claims in any dispute involving anyone who is not a party to the arbitration, nor will an arbitration award in prior disputes involving other parties have preclusive effect in an arbitration between the parties to this Arbitration Provision.
(i) Continuation: This Arbitration Provision shall survive termination of this User Agreement or any other agreement between you and us (including but not limited to the Deposit Agreement, Electronic Communications Agreement, and Cardholder Agreement). If any portion of this Arbitration Provision is deemed invalid or unenforceable under any principle or provision of law or equity, consistent with the FAA, it shall not invalidate the remaining portions of this Arbitration Provision, the Agreement or any prior agreement you may have had with us, each of which shall be enforceable regardless of such invalidity.