In early May, bills were introduced in the House and Senate , attempting to breathe new life into the concept of a federal Arbitration Fairness Act (“AFA”). The bills would amend the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) by adding a new chapter invalidating predispute arbitration agreements (“PDAAs”) for consumer, investor, employment, or civil rights claims. The proposed legislation is similar to prior failed efforts to similarly amend the FAA going back at least to 2005.
This article analyzes the AFA of 2013 and concludes that, while a well- intended effort to address a legitimate concern – PDAAs imposed via an adhesion contract by dominant parties on weaker parties like consumers and employees – it in fact is a potentially dangerous overreaction that could end up harming those it intends to protect. The article closes with the author’s recommendation for a better way to address these concerns.
written by George Friedman, Board Director Here’s my read on American Express Co. v. Italian Colors. In another in a series of very pro-arbitration rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court enforced a predispute arbitration agreement even though proving the claim in an individual arbitration might be very costly compared to a class action. In American Express Co….
Author Dan Solin, a long-time critic of FINRA, published a column in U.S. News & World Report claiming that the FINRA arbitration forum is “biased, unfair to investors and shrouded in secrecy.” George Friedman, our Board Director who recently retired as FINRA’s Director of Arbitration, submitted a rebuttal letter to the U.S. News & World…