ADR Prof Blog by Andrea Schneider, Michael Moffitt, Sarah Cole,Art Hinshaw, Jill Gross and Cynthia Alkon.
Semi-regular guest blogger Jean Sternlight (UNLV) brings us news from Public Justice’s take on the “bait and switch” going on in consumer arbitration.
Public Justice, a public interest law firm that has been fighting mandatory consumer and employment arbitration for many years, recently posted a very interesting piece by Senior Attorney Paul Bland (here) regarding companies’ promise to pay arbitration fees. The blog post argues that although many companies promise to pay arbitration fees incurred by their customers and employees, quite a few fail to pay those fees on the rare occasion when someone actually brings a claim against them in arbitration. The post further discusses how the AAA has begun to send letters to such companies demanding that they stop using the AAA name in company documents. Bland identifies car dealers as a common culprit, linking to several AAA letters, and it identifies one for-profit college, linking to that AAA request as well. The companies’ refusal to honor their promises casts further doubt on the common claim that mandatory arbitration is quicker, cheaper and better for consumers and employees than litigation.