Bachus & Schanker founding partner, J. Kyle Bachus was recently interviewed by Matt Masich for a story in Law Week Colorado (PDF article) on the Arbitration Fairness Act 2009, which prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer, employment and franchise contracts.
“Americans should not be compelled by these mega-corporations to give up their American rights to civil redress in our court system to get basic consumer goods,” says Mr. Bachus.
This means consumers have less bargaining power and are being forced to sign contracts with the arbitration language.
The current law prohibits consumers who have signed a contract with mandatory arbitration provisions from litigating a dispute. This means consumers have less bargaining power and are being forced to sign contracts with the arbitration language or do without a cell phone, credit card, bank loan, a car or even summer camp for their kids.
Critics of the bill claim that although it might help consumers, the language of the bill could create problems for commercial arbitration and for international arbitration.
Supporters of the Arbitration Fairness Act 2009 believe this bill is about restoring consumers’ right to a jury trial.