Professor Michael Helfand Quoted in "Can Former Scientologists Take the Church to Court?" -- Los Angeles Times
Professor Michael A. Helfand is quoted several times in the Los Angeles Times article, "Can Former Scientologists Take the Church to Court? Or Are Religious Tribunals the Only Recourse?" The article considers a lawsuit brought by former Scientology members in which California courts must decide if binding arbitration agreements may be enforced and the case decided by a Scientology tribunal instead of a jury.
Excerpt from "Can Former Scientologists Take the Church to Court? Or Are Religious Tribunals the Only Recourse?"
Courts also are legally obligated to favor arbitration agreements under the federal Arbitration Act of 1925. But state law determines the contours of the law, and California has been less protective of the pacts than many other states.
"California judges are just more skeptical of arbitration," said Helfand, citing statistical studies.
Helfand, who has served as a Jewish arbitrator, said he was troubled that Scientology had not spelled out its arbitration procedures in advance of holding arbitrations. He also believes courts might be able to refuse to enforce the church's arbitration agreements on the grounds they call for Scientologists "in good standing," a description that secular courts are barred by the 1st Amendment from interpreting.
The complete article may be found at Los Angeles Times