Sternlight – Public Justice on Companies’ Use of ‘Bait and Switch’ in Arbitration
by Art Hinshaw
ADR Prof Blog by Andrea Schneider, Michael Moffitt, Sarah Cole,Art Hinshaw, Jill Gross and Cynthia Alkon.
Semi-regular guest blogger Jean Sternlight (UNLV) brings us news from Public Justice’s take on the “bait and switch” going on in consumer arbitration.
Public Justice, a public interest law firm that has been fighting mandatory consumer and employment arbitration for many years, recently posted a very interesting piece by Senior Attorney Paul Bland (here) regarding companies’ promise to pay arbitration fees. The blog post argues that although many companies promise to pay arbitration fees incurred by their customers and employees, quite a few fail to pay those fees on the rare occasion when someone actually brings a claim against them in arbitration. The post further discusses how the AAA has begun to send letters to such companies demanding that they stop using the AAA name in company documents. Bland identifies car dealers as a common culprit, linking to several AAA letters, and it identifies one for-profit college, linking to that AAA request as well. The companies’ refusal to honor their promises casts further doubt on the common claim that mandatory arbitration is quicker, cheaper and better for consumers and employees than litigation.
Art Hinshaw’s research and teaching interests lie in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), primarily mediation and negotiation. His research bridges ADR theory and practice, and his teaching responsibilities include the Lodestar Mediation Clinic and Negotiation among other ADR courses.
Professor Hinshaw is active in the ADR community having served on several academic and professional committees at the state and national levels. Currently, he serves as a member of the ABA's Standing Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance. Additionally, he is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law and is a contributor to Indisputably, the ADR Prof Blog.
Professor Hinshaw joined the College of Law faculty after teaching at the University of Missouri School of Law and at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Before his academic career, he practiced law in Kansas City, Missouri.
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