July 12, 2007 (Washington, DC)—Jon Haber, CEO of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), issued this statement upon today’s introduction of the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.
“We commend Senator Feingold and Rep. Johnson for introducing the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007. Mandatory arbitration prevents people from having a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others. Increasingly, corporations and their CEOs are using mandatory arbitration clauses to weaken basic legal protections and further stack the deck against Americans. Though voluntary arbitration is an effective method to resolve disputes efficiently, unsuspecting consumers should not be forced into it through typically indecipherable fine print buried on the back pages of an agreement.
AAJ supports strong consumer protection laws that level the playing field so that deserving individuals can get justice and wrongdoers are held accountable. The introduction of this bill is an important milestone in our continuing fight for justice.”
Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007
The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 – introduced by Senator Feingold (D- WI) – and Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) would prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration in consumer, employment and franchise agreements.
The legislation would not prohibit arbitration. Instead, it would ensure that the decision to arbitrate is truly voluntary and that the rights and remedies provided for by our judicial system are not waived under coercion. Under the bill, pre-dispute mandatory arbitration would be allowed to continue in most business-to-business agreements. The legislation would not apply to collective bargaining agreements.