In the News

Lawmakers want to give Americans back their right to sue companies

From CNBC: 9/10/2019.

"The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Tuesday afternoon passed a bipartisan bill, the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act, that would end forced arbitration. Experts say they expect the legislation to pass in the full House as well."

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Mandatory Arbitration Enables Sexual Harassment

From Bloomberg: 5/12/2019.

"Earlier this year, Democratic lawmakers introduced the FAIR Act. This would prohibit mandatory arbitration as a condition of employment and let employees choose how they want to resolve a dispute. Industry groups are opposed, but Republican resistance to the idea seems to be weakening, in part because of the outcry over sexual harassment. It’s about time: Congress has an especially poor record as an employer in this regard, and needs to heed public opinion on the matter, both as a law-making body and a place of work."

Chase says arbitration ‘provides better outcomes’ for consumers. Nope, say researchers

From the Los Angeles Times: 5/3/2019.

"JPMorgan Chase is notifying more than 40 million credit card holders that from now on they’ll have to arbitrate any disputes, forgoing the option of filing a lawsuit or joining class-action suits."

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CalPERS, Colorado pension fund want a say in mandatory shareholder arbitration case

From Reuters: 5/28/2019.

"The pension funds for public employees in California and Colorado have moved to intervene in New Jersey federal court litigation that marks the first court test of the legality of mandatory shareholder arbitration. The intervention motion, filed by Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler, Salvatore Graziano of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Marc Gross of Pomerantz, sends a strong signal that the New Jersey case could have major implications for shareholder class actions."

Antitrust data reveals vital role of private actions, illustrates need to pass FAIR Act

From the The Hill: 5/28/2019.

"Arbitration clauses are buried in the fine print of everything from nursing home admissions forms and credit card contracts to online click-through “agreements.” Often consumers and small businesses unwittingly give up their right to go to court to hold wrongdoers accountable and recover their losses. Instead, victims are forced to seek redress before secret arbitration panels chosen and paid for by the very corporations that break the law."

Congress Should End a ‘Harsh and Unfair’ Rule That Blocks Troops From Court

From the New York Times: 5/3/2019.

"A 1950 Supreme Court decision makes it impossible for service members to recover damages from the government for negligence or misconduct they suffer while serving."

Read the full article here.

Google workers want to outlaw mandatory arbitration. Here’s why this matters.

From the Washington Post: 5/3/2019.

"Over the last three decades, more and more corporations have forced their employees or customers to sign these contracts, agreeing to take their disputes to private arbitration instead of to court. A recent study estimates that currently more than 60 million U.S. workers signed these mandatory arbitration agreements when they were hired. Another found that, last year, consumers signed almost three times as many consumer arbitration agreements as there are people living in the U.S."

Editorial: Congress seeks to amend the Feres Doctrine

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: 5/1/2019.

"Military personnel should have at the very least the same rights as everyone else to compensation for gross medical negligence. The House bill would provide welcome relief to those who have been permanently harmed by bad medical practices. We hope it is passed quickly."

Read the full article here.

Patients recount medical horrors under care of military doctors, with no legal recourse

From Stars and Stripes: 4/30/2019.

"But it doesn’t stop there: Patients and their families aren’t allowed to sue for medical malpractice. A special legal shield, known as the Feres Doctrine, blocks military servicemembers and their relatives from seeking recourse in court."

Read the full article here.

The Technology 202: These Googlers are dialing Washington to demand an end to forced arbitration

From the Washington Post: 4/30/2019.

"These activists are hoping they can get enough workers on board -- in the tech sector and beyond -- to bring the debate over forced arbitration that's been brewing for years in Silicon Valley to Washington. The phone bank event is an early sign that tech workers, not usually considered organized labor, are banding together to become a more traditional political force -- and even adopting old-school ways of getting their message across."


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