Arbitration is an important alternative to litigation that empowers American consumers to resolve disputes quickly, often without hiring a lawyer. However, because it reduces their profits, trial lawyers in this country have launched an all-out attack on this form of dispute resolution.
Take California, for example, where trial lawyers are supporting AB 465 (Hernandez), which seeks to eliminate pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements. This bill is not beneficial for consumers or businesses in California; it will only drive up litigation costs by increasing individual claims and class action lawsuits against California employers of all sizes. California is not the only battlefield in the war on arbitration. These lawyers, who have a multi-billion dollar stake in banning arbitration agreements, have been attacking arbitration agreements across the country and lobbying Congress through their national trade association for years.
If arbitration is limited, it forces more cases to use expensive and time-consuming litigation – a process that makes millions of dollars for trial lawyers and could clog our country’s court systems with cases that would typically be solved out-of-court.
When cases can be resolved through arbitration, fewer cases have to be heard in court. This is why trial lawyers are on a mission to ban arbitration agreements. They have a vested interest in limiting the use of arbitration: more arbitration means fewer lawsuits, which means less income for trial lawyers. As such, they seek to ban the process and misinform consumers about the “dangers” of arbitration, pushing them towards costly litigation that only benefits them.
One thing is very clear: restricting arbitration would risk eliminating a process that benefits both consumers and businesses by providing a fast and efficient means of resolving disputes and avoiding litigation that costs both plaintiffs and defendants.
It’s important for all of us — as consumers, businesspeople, taxpayers, and educated voters — to understand the benefits of arbitration, and push back on trial lawyers’ attempts to increase their profits by limiting its use.