Skip to content
July 25, 2012 / Admin

Critical Consumers’ Right Case Gets Supreme Court Review Tomorrow

On November 9, 2010, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in AT&T Mobility v Conception. The court will decide whether The Federal Arbitration Act preempts state courts from striking down class action bans in arbitration agreements. Large corporations, such as AT&T, frequently insert in their boilerplate customer agreements, often in fine print, provisions requiring that any dispute arising from the agreement be arbitrated and brought on behalf the individual consumer alone and not as a class action on behalf of other similarly impacted consumers. These big companies know that the amount of a single consumer’s dispute is often less than a couple hundred dollars, that consumers have little time and incentive to litigate their single small claim and no attorney would represent them with such a small amount in dispute. For example, the Concepcions sued AT&T claiming that AT&T represented that that their wireless service included free cellphones but the phones actually came with charges.

The only effective way to recoup small amounts of money owed to many consumers by a corporate wrongdoer is by grouping the claims as a class action. Class actions are the only “big stick” consumers have to fight large corporations and the threat of them deters corporate wrongdoing. Not surprisingly, corporations desperately want to halt class actions. California’s Supreme Court has ruled that class action bans in consumer agreements are unconscionable and unenforceable and the trial court and United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Conception’s federal court case ruled similarly. Now the issue is before the United States Supreme Court, known to be conservative and pro-business.

An article by David Lazarus in the November 5, 2010 Los Angeles Times summarizes the issues raise by the case in plain English. SCOTUSblog has a link to all of the briefs. Look for future blogs here on this important case affecting consumer rights.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Consumer Advocate Legal Update

Insight and Commentary on Consumer Legal Issues

Plaintiffs-Advocate

Insight and Commentary on Individual Rights

Fair Employment Legal Update

Insight and Commentary on Legal Employment Issues

KB News

Legal Updates and News About Khorrami Boucher, LLP

%d bloggers like this: