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the dangers of binding mandatory arbitration (bma) clauses

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by remar sutton

binding mandatory arbitration clauses (called bma clauses) aren’t designed to help you or save you money—they are designed to hurt you.

bma clauses strip you of your rights. they are virtually always written to help the other party—not you.

bma clauses are so bad that few consumers try to use them to solve a dispute. instead, the consumer walks away from the dispute—even when the consumer has been terribly hurt. one study shows that in 50,000 arbitrations, consumers brought only fifty of those arbitrations. companies brought the rest.

hundreds of types of businesses are sneaking these clauses into their paperwork. if you care about your rights, you must understand this issue, and help us fight binding mandatory arbitration (bma).

so, take some time, and read these stories by members of the givemebackmyrights coalition and other groups.

the first three are articles public citizen released at our press conference on february 24th.

how to preserve your rights: what consumers can do to protect
themselves from binding mandatory arbitration agreements

mandatory arbitration clauses: undermining the rights of consumers,
employees and small businesses

the small print that's devastating major consumer rights
the national consumer law center describes the impacts of mandatory arbitration clauses on consumers.

the arbitration trap: how consumers pay for 'low cost' justice
consumer reports discusses issues related to arbitration and what consumers can do to protect themselves.

the costs of arbitration prepared by public citizen's congress watch, details the various potential costs of arbitration, shares case stories, and compares arbitration and court costs for similar cases.

arbitration q&a from public citizen's congress watch provides answers to questions such as: isn't arbitration a cheaper alternative than filing suit in court?, why do businesses use arbitration clauses?, and what are the differences between a judge and a private arbitrator hearing a case?

more commonly asked questions by remar sutton & associates.

the san franciso chronicle's excellent and groundbreaking series on the dangers of bma is a must read:

  • an editorial: on corporate influence
    an unbalanced justice
  • first article: private justice
    millions are losing their legal rights
    supreme court forces disputes from court to arbitration - a system with no laws
  • second article: judges' action cast shadow on court's integrity
    lure of high-paying jobs as arbitrators may compromise impartiality
  • final article: arbitration attacked in front of high court
    justices disagree on expanding its reach


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