Category Archives: Arbitration

A Reply and a Challenge to Mr. Levin on Arbitration Opt Outs and Dark Patterns

On June 2, I wrote a blog post, Opaque (formerly Dark) Patterns and Arbitration Opt Outs, arguing that arbitration opt outs are really opaque patterns. On June 8, Mark J. Levin of the Ballard Spahr firm replied in a post at the Consumer Financial Monitor Blog, Arbitration opt out provisions benefit consumers, Professor Sovern. But Mr. […]

Opaque (formerly Dark) Patterns and Arbitration Opt Outs

Dark Patterns (I prefer calling them Opaque Patterns) have been drawing a lot of attention from consumer protection regulators in recent years. For those who are unclear on what they are, the FTC has defined them as “practices that trick or manipulate users into making choices they would not otherwise have made and that may […]

Sauce for the Goose on Mass Arbitration

The latest episode of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Finance Monitor Podcast explores mass arbitration and includes as a guest arbitration champion Andrew Pincus, who argued the industry’s–and winning–position in Concepcion. As I listened to the podcast, which I recommend to those interested in consumer law, it became clear that one of Mr. Pincus’s chief complaints about […]

David Horton article: Forced Robot Arbitration

David Horton of California, Davis has written Forced Robot Arbitration, forthcoming in 109 Cornell Law Review (2023). Here’s the abstract: Recently, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have sparked interest in a topic that sounds like science fiction: robot judges. Researchers have harnessed AI to build programs that can predict the outcome of legal disputes. Some […]

Whither Arbitration? Conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute Attorney Calls for Jury Trials in Consumer Protection Cases

I’m finally getting around to listening to the House Financial Services Committee’s hearing March 9, 2023 on the CFPB. One of the witnesses at the hearing was Devin Watkins, an attorney at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute. Mr. Watkins’ testimony includes the following:  The Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution mandates that “In Suits at […]

Chamber of Commerce complains that consumers subject to companies’ forced arbitration clauses try to arbitrate

After years of advocating that forced arbitration provisions that deprive consumers of the option of filing claims in court and bar consumers from pursuing class actions, the Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform is now complaining that consumers are using arbitration too much. Reuters’ article on ILR’s shameless report, with a link to the […]

CFPB’s repeat offenders swindling military borrowers?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in recent actions against entities it calls “repeat offenders” has zeroed in on flagrant violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA), which is meant to safeguard active-duty military members and their families from financial abuses. The MLA has features perfect for military families in search of a loan: it caps […]

CFPB proposes public registry of terms in form contracts

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a rule to establish a public registry of supervised nonbanks’ terms and conditions in “take it or leave it” form contracts that claim to waive or limit consumer rights and protections, like bankruptcy rights, liability amounts, or complaint rights. In some cases, terms and conditions in non-negotiable form […]

“NYT exposed the ills of forced arbitration. It’s now a company policy.”

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Eric Wemple explains: A 2015 investigative series [by the New York Times] documented how such clauses have become increasingly common in many kinds of contracts, leaving consumers at the mercy of an arbitration regime often predisposed against their interests. Subsequent coverage, on both the news and editorial […]

Tesla buyers forced to arbitrate disputes

The New York Times reports: Until last month, a class-action lawsuit by Tesla owners looked as if it would reveal new details about the carmaker’s self-driving technology, which has been blamed for serious accidents and deaths. But then Tesla deployed a legal strategy that has allowed it to avoid the kind of attention-grabbing lawsuits other […]