Constitutionality of Arbitration

Makes you wonder what is happening to our rights. There is a loophole for everything….

Learning Constitutional Law

By K. Torkzadeh

Last week we covered the topic of arbitration in our Consumer Law class. At first, this method of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) seemed like a viable way to deal with the many problems of our legal system. Arbitration offered a way to resolve legal disputes outside of the court in a faster, cheaper, and more flexible manner. Then, we started reading consumer complaint cases and delved deeper into the issues of arbitration. My original favorable opinion towards arbitration quickly evaporated, specifically in the binding arbitration context of consumer contracts. I instantly questioned the constitutionality of arbitration.

The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) is a statute that allows for private dispute resolution through arbitration. The arbitration decision is binding and the parties give up their right to appeal. The FAA requires courts to apply contract law standards in arbitration disputes and also preempts inconsistent state law. Many consumers…

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