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Thread: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

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    Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/bu...ourt.html?_r=1

    WASHINGTON — Businesses may use standard-form contracts to forbid consumers claiming fraud from banding together in a single arbitration, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a 5-to-4 decision that split along ideological lines.

    Though the decision concerned arbitrations, it appeared to provide businesses with a way to avoid class-action lawsuits in court. All they need do, the decision suggested, is use standard-form contracts that require two things: that disputes be raised only through the informal mechanism of arbitration and that claims be brought one by one.

    “The decision basically lets companies escape class actions, so long as they do so by means of arbitration agreements,” Brian T. Fitzpatrick, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, said. “This is a game-changer for businesses. It’s one of the most important and favorable cases for businesses in a very long time.”
    The arbitrators rule in favor of the corporation more than 90% of the time. Just sayin. What's that they keep telling me in the environmental subforum, that lawsuits would do a better job of reducing pollution than the EPA?

    I'm not terribly pleased with anything that takes away a layer of accountability from businesses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Class actions may result in lawyers gobbling up all the money, but they are the only deterrent against low level fraud. Phone companies will now cheerfully commit as much fraud as they like as long as the amount stolen from each individual isn't worth the costs of personal lawsuit.

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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/bu...ourt.html?_r=1



    The arbitrators rule in favor of the corporation more than 90% of the time. Just sayin. What's that they keep telling me in the environmental subforum, that lawsuits would do a better job of reducing pollution than the EPA?

    I'm not terribly pleased with anything that takes away a layer of accountability from businesses.
    Most environmental issues I'm sorry are bogus and today meant to slow down any real menaningful logical changes.

    The supremes are right far more than wrong.

    I only wish they would stop any and all anti-Constitutional laws and dictates by Obama and Congress.

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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/bu...ourt.html?_r=1
    What's that they keep telling me in the environmental subforum, that lawsuits would do a better job of reducing pollution than the
    Because most environmental crimes per say can be handled under private property laws. Alot of EPA laws that deal with pollution and surrounding issues really fall under private property its a law on top or another law.
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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Yes, clearly environmental lawsuits is the more important part of this discussion.

    The winky face means it's not a serious discussion point, people! C'mon, that's internet 101.

    Like rathi said, phone companies are going to be insane with this :|
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post

    Like rathi said, phone companies are going to be insane with this :|
    As someone who is in the business of selling wireless, 75% of contract disputes is of the fault of the customer not/refusing to pay attention to the wireless agreement.
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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Highway View Post
    As someone who is in the business of selling wireless, 75% of contract disputes is of the fault of the customer not/refusing to pay attention to the wireless agreement.
    Are you aware of how many class action lawsuits have been won against telecommuncations companies in the last decade? Even with the threat of real lawsuits, fraudalent behavior is rampant. Adding nonexistant charges to phone bills is disgustingly common. It will get worse if even the minimal incentives against such behavior are removed.

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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Highway View Post
    Because most environmental crimes per say can be handled under private property laws. Alot of EPA laws that deal with pollution and surrounding issues really fall under private property its a law on top or another law.
    Only in the cases where the polution is direct and harmfull to a persons property

    Ie a waste retaining pond gives way and it floods your property. But when it is indirect and from multiple source it is nearly impossible

    Air polution is one such example. Look up the London smog event in the 1950s as an example and the impossibility of having a property law handle that situation
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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Class actions may result in lawyers gobbling up all the money, but they are the only deterrent against low level fraud. Phone companies will now cheerfully commit as much fraud as they like as long as the amount stolen from each individual isn't worth the costs of personal lawsuit.
    That's certainly a danger, but the current state of practice (as you suggest) seems only to benefit lawyers. I don't know how many class action lawsuits I've been party to - maybe six or eight? I don't think I ever got anything useful out of any of them. Maybe some coupons I never used. Maybe a check for $4.00 I never cashed.

    On the flip side, it's unlikely consumers will enter bilateral arbitration over a $30 tax, but the potential benefits are higher. If I read the language correctly a first successful arbitration claim will earn the individual a minimum of $7,500 + double the cost of attorney fees. From then on the company is likely to draw up a settlement agreement for future complaints.

    For this forced-arbitration thing to really place a "layer of accountability" on businesses, though, it seems that you need an active community of consumer advocacy groups to alert customers of relevant actions and promote arbitration or collection of settlements.

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    Re: Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    It will get worse if even the minimal incentives against such behavior are removed.
    We will certainly find out. There is of course a simple a remedy and if it becomes an issue something like this is likely to pass:
    Bill Text - 111th Congress (2009-2010) - Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009
    Last edited by Taylor; 04-29-11 at 01:09 AM.

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