My husband, who has a business and commercial practice and is therefore often doing work with AAA, sent me a link to an article in the Los Angeles Times. This article, published on May 1 and authored by David Lazarus, suggests that as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, which indicates that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is able to “prohibit or impose conditions and limitations on the use of arbitration clauses” if it determines that restricting such provisions “is in the public interest and for the protection of consumers.”

Does the Act trump recent Supreme Court decisions? Lazarus asks.  This is a wait and see question, I”m sure.  But I just wanted you to know that it’s out there.

Although I mediate and also arbitrate for FINRA, I am often concerned about those who are obligated to arbitrate rather than face a jury of their peers.  It’s my concern about the sub rosa judiciary system that has resulted from a lack of funding and other ills that have caused users of the judicial system to search for a quicker and more economical way to resolve disputes.  As long as the judiciary is funded to 1% or less of the total budget (Mississippi is a good example), the 3rd branch of government will never be able to catch up with the demands of litigants.  This concerns me, and I am sure that it often concerns you.  The judiciary holds the reins protecting society from the excesses of the executive and the legislature.  No wonder the legislature doesn’t want to fund it!

Just food for thought.

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