Consumer Arbitration

ALI Consumer Contracts Restatement-What's at Stake

05/16/19

The American Law Institute's membership will vote next Tuesday (the 21st) on whether to approve the ALI's Consumer Contracts Restatement project.  Let me recap why you should care about this project:  it opens the door for businesses to use contract to abuse consumers in basically any way they want.

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Restatement of Consumer Contracts—On-Line Symposium

03/21/19

The Yale Journal on Regulation is holding an on-line symposium about the draft Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts, which is scheduled for a vote at the American Law Institute's annual meeting this May.  The launching point for the symposium are a pair of articles in JREG that take sharp issue with the empirical studies that underlie the draft Restatement.

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Shakespeare Meets ALJs: Much Ado About Nothing

05/22/18

In a recent oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, conservatives urged the Court to outlaw the use of administrative law judges (ALJs) in agency enforcement actions.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is paying notice. On January 31, 2018, the CFPB reprised the ALJ debate in its second Request for Information under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

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Epic Systems and the Atomization of Employment Disputes

05/21/18

Millions of American workers are parties to arbitration agreements that require them to bring claims against their employers in individualized arbitration proceedings (rather than as part of a class or collective action, as authorized by some federal and state laws regulating the workplace). In Epic Systems v.

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Summer Associate Arbitration Clauses: Why Disclosure Isn't Enough

03/26/18

This weekend a mini-scandal erupted over the law firm Munger, Tolles requiring its summer associates to sign pre-dispute arbitration clauses. Munger, Tolles was rightly shamed into rescinding the practice, but one suspects that Munger, Tolles isn't the only firm doing or contemplating doing this. 

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Debbie Does Damages: the Stormy Daniels Contract Clusterf*ck

03/08/18

There's been a lot of poorly informed reporting about the Stormy Daniels contract litigation, including in some quite reputable publications, but by reporters who just aren't well versed in legal issues.  For example, I've seen repeated reference to an "arbitration judge" (no such creature exists!) or to a "restraining order" (there's no enforceable order around as far as I can tell.

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Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump, and the Role of Arbitration in Ensuring Silence

03/07/18

For readers who haven't been following along: Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, is an adult film star who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump in the mid-2000s. She recently sued Trump and other defendants, seeking to invalidate a settlement agreement in which she was paid to keep silent about the details of the alleged relationship. Here is her complaint, which includes the settlement agreement as an exhibit.

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CFPB Arbitration Rule Overturned

10/25/17

By a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie, the Senate has voted to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule forbidding the use of contract terms (in covered consumer loan products) barring cons

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CFPB Politics Update

08/09/17

Time for a CFPB politics update:  FSOC veto, Congressional Review Act override of the arbitration rulemaking, Director succession line, and contempt of Congress all discussed below the break.

What happened to that FSOC Veto Threat?

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CFPB Arbitration Rulemaking--and Potential FSOC Veto

07/11/17

Today the CFPB finalized the most important rulemaking it has undertaken to date.  This rulemaking substantially restricts consumer financial service providers' ability to prevent consumer class actions by forcing consumers into individual arbitrations. I believe this is by far the most important rulemaking undertaken by the CFPB because it affects practices across the consumer finance space (other than mortgages, where arbitration clauses are already prohibited by statute). 

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