Evolution of the Arbitration Forum as a Response to Mandatory Arbitration
Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 18:437 (Winter 2018)
19 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2017 Last revised: 5 May 2018
Date Written: May 1, 2018
Decades of Supreme Court decisions elevating the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) have led to an explosion of mandatory arbitration in the United States. A form of dispute resolution once used primarily between merchants and businesses to resolve their disputes, arbitration has expanded to myriad sectors, such as consumer and service disputes, investor disputes, employment and civil rights disputes. This article explores this expansion to such non-traditional contexts and argues that this shift requires the arbitral forum to evolve to increase protections for forced participants and millions of potential claims that involve matters of public policy. By way of example, decades of forced arbitration of securities disputes has led to increased due process and procedural reforms, even as concerns remain about investor access, the lack of transparency and investors’ perception of fairness.
Keywords: Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, mandatory pre-dispute arbitration provision, FINRA, NASD, CFPB, consumer protection, class action, class action waiver
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