Necessity Never Made a Good Bargain: When Consumer Arbitration Agreements Prohibit Class Relief
36 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2010 Last revised: 1 Jul 2010
Date Written: January 1, 2004
Courts rely on the "national policy favoring arbitration" to restrict the review of arbitration agreements under state laws of unconscionability. Consequently, banks, phone companies, and other consumer businesses implement mandatory arbitration clauses that provide complete immunization from both class actions and classwide arbitrations. As potential defedants, these companies hope that courts will force individual resolution of all consumer claims against them by upholding their agreements to arbitrate. Such an exercise raises an important question, which is the subject of this Article: To what extent should courts use the "national policy favoring arbitration" to protect consumer arbitration agreements that prohibit all class relief?
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