Category Archives: Arbitration

When can someone who has opted out of arbitration still be forced to arbitrate?

An Uber driver agrees to Uber’s standard form contract, which includes an arbitration clause. The arbitration clause permits drivers to opt out within 30 days, and the driver does so. So the driver can never be forced into arbitration with Uber, right? Wrong. Greg Gauthier recently pointed me to a case from the Eastern District […]

Study examining content and readability of terms of use illustrates how crazy arbitration opt-outs have become

Tim Samples of the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business, Katherine Ireland of the University of Georgia Libraries, and Caroline Kraczon, a law fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, have written TL;DR: The Law and Linguistics of Social Platform Terms-of-Use, Berkeley Technology Law Journal (forthcoming 2023). Here’s an excerpt from the article about […]

Updated Mandatory Arbitration Agreements: Coincidence or More

This week, I received three different emails informing me that companies I interact with had updated their terms and conditions. The ordinary consumer likely deleted these emails, or read them without understanding what they were talking about, but I knew right away that the biggest change was likely about arbitration. And I was right. All […]

Maria Glover’s latest mass arbitration article

Maria Glover of Georgetown has written Recent Developments in Mandatory Arbitration Warfare: Winners and Losers (So Far) in Mass Arbitration, 100 Washington University Law Review (2023). Here’s the abstract: Mass arbitration has sent shock waves through the civil justice system and unnerved the defense bar. To see how quickly and dramatically this phenomenon has entered […]

Sommers study shows consumers are clueless about arbitration opt-outs

On Wednesday, I blogged about Roseanna Sommers’ important new arbitration study. One point I want to highlight about the study is that it makes clear that consumers don’t understand arbitration opt-outs at all. First, some background: some companies insert in their arbitration clauses a provision that allows consumers to opt out of arbitration if they […]

Important Roseanna Sommers study finds consumers don’t understand arbitration clauses

Roseanna Sommers of Michigan has written an important new paper, What do consumers understand about predispute arbitration agreements? An empirical investigation. Here’s the abstract: The results of a survey of 1,071 adults in the United States reveal that most consumers do not pay attention to, let alone understand, arbitration clauses in their everyday lives. The vast […]

Study finds consumers are less likely to bring arbitration claims than sue in court

Farshad Ghodoosi of California State, Northridge, David Nazarian College of Business & Economics, Department of Business Law and Monica M. Sharif of California State, Los Angeles have written Arbitration Effect, 60 Am. Bus. L.J. 235 (2023) (behind paywall but also available on Westlaw). Here’s the abstract: Arbitration is changing the United States justice system. Critics argue […]

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 […]