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TECHNOLOGY, ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY: THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED (REALLY THIS TIME) By George H. Friedman*   Abstract Over twenty years ago, the author of this paper evaluated emerging technologies and predicted how they might impact alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).[1]  Four years later, after the emergence of the internet, he updated his predictions…

The Elections are over: What it means for Consumer Arbitration Five things to look for in 2015 By George H. Friedman*   Back when I was Director of Arbitration at FINRA, we used to have a “Crystal Ball Contest” where the staff would weigh in on predictions for the coming year. I usually did pretty…

Ten Things about Litigation that Arbitration Critics Won’t Tell You by George H. Friedman*  [republished from an earlier post] The recent uproar over General Mills’ decision to adopt and later retract a new policy by which consumers, by engaging in activities such as downloading a recipe, or participating in a contest, or “liking” the firm…

The recent uproar over General Mills’ decision to adopt and later retract a new policy by which consumers, by engaging in activities such as downloading a recipe, or participating in a contest, or “liking” the firm on Facebook, would unwittingly be agreeing to arbitrate, certainly refocused the spotlight on the prevalent use of mandatory, predispute arbitration in consumer transactions.

Ten Things about Litigation that Arbitration Critics Won’t Tell You by George H. Friedman*  The recent uproar over General Mills’ decision to adopt and later retract a new policy by which consumers, by engaging in activities such as downloading a recipe, or participating in a contest, or “liking” the firm on Facebook, would unwittingly be…

What do A-Rod, the NLRB, and General Mills have in Common?  The title of this post is not a riddle.  On Jeopardy! it would be the correct response to “They evidently read George Friedman’s blog at Arbitration Resolution Services.” Three times in recent months, I have blogged about the above cast of characters, and urged…

Enough is Enough:  Time to Eliminate the “Hidden Arbitration Clause Trick” “A day of reckoning is coming on predispute arbitration agreements in consumer arbitration.  A dichotomy is developing between arms-length pre-dispute arbitration agreements and those imposed in an adhesion contract with consumers (and perhaps employees). This will be addressed in the next several years by…

The story becomes more complicated when Citigroup and the individual broker sought to challenge the award in state court on the grounds of manifest disregard of law, and bias because two of the arbitrators failed to make required disclosures. It turns out the parties appeared to have settled their dispute before the arbitration was commenced. This the court seizes on without addressing the arbitrator disclosure issue.

State and Federal courts – even in California – seem to have gotten the U.S. Supreme Court’s memo that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) generally preempts state laws that impinge on arbitration. Two recent cases underscore that trend, but also show that, at least in California, there are limits to FAA preemption, where a party asserts that the arbitration clause is unconscionable.

Several times over the past few months, I’ve discussed in this blog court decisions underscoring my belief that more and more state courts now “get it” on Federal Arbitration Act preemption of state laws impinging on arbitration.  Two recent decisions by state supreme courts underscore this now undeniable trend. Washington and Crop Insurance The first…

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