Thursday, June 12, 2008

More on Arbitration

There's yet another few posts on this at another site, which got me thinking some more. As I commented at one of them, as I've read these posts,

I'm reminded of something that happened to my dad years ago when he was trying to argue with a lawyer about what to put into a rental agreement. There were certain provisions that my dad objected to - and the other lawyer would say that the way they worked was exactly what my dad wanted to happen. So my dad would say - fine, if it works exactly the same way, then you won't mind wording it my way to make me happy and since it works the same, you should have no objection. But of course, he objected. Over and over. of course, that was a big red flag that actually it did NOT work the same, otherwise, why argue against it so strenuously?

That's what I think of now - why argue so strenuously to get adhesion arbitration upheld if it did not confer some large advantage - one larger than just any alleged cost or time savings (because after all, such things, if true, would only make it easier for people to complain - a lawsuit is expensive and difficult, right?) Particularly why argue for the adhesion contracts to be upheld - because if arbitration is so much cheaper and so much fairer to consumers, you'd expect them to volunteer for it without any adhesion clauses. After all, even if there is no arbitration clause in the contract at all, if you have a dispute with someone, you can right then and there make an agreement to settle the dispute with arbitration. If it is so great, consumers would opt for that even absent any contractual provisions at all. So obviously businesses think they are getting something out of it, and I think I can guess what that probably is.

As I highlighted in what I said, as I say again, if arbitration is so superior for consumers - cheaper, faster, and fair, then they should be opting for it in DROVES even absent any advance contractual provisions. There would be no need for any contractual provisions up front requiring arbitration. Further, there would certainly be no need to enforce adhesion arbitration clauses - you wouldn't need to force consumers to accept arbitration in adhesion provisions if they'd want them anyway. Thus, something more is afoot.


Robert said...

I agree. I'd like to opt out of Social Security now. ;)

DBB said...

I assume I won't have to opt out - I simply won't get anything... The whole notion that the taxes were set aside somehow has always been a sham for the simple fact that the law did not set them aside. Your SS taxes have been spent on kickbacks for Halliburton the past few years.