Thomas A. King, P.C.
128 South 8th St.
Gadsden, Al  35907
 Bus.: (256) 547-1117
Fax: (256) 547-0371


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 Under mandatory binding arbitration, consumers with disputes with credit card companies, insurers and other big corporations do not have the choice of taking the issue to court. Instead they submit their case to an arbitrator, usually selected only by the big corporation. Rulings from the arbitrator cannot be appealed and the process provides no accountability to ensure that the ruling follows the law.

 Arbitration is often forced on unsuspecting consumers through loan documents, bank account rules, credit card contracts, car purchase agreements,  insurance agreements, sales documents, etc. Most people are unaware that an arbitration clause exists in these documents until they have a dispute. By then they have lost their right to take their dispute before a judge and a jury.

 Arbitration is bad for consumer for a number of reasons, including

       No Accountability

Unlike judges, arbitrators have no standard code of ethics, no boards that review their behavior, no commissions that regulate them. Even worse, voters do not get the opportunity to review the record of an arbitrator and vote a bad one out of office.

       Too Expensive

Just getting to arbitration can cost consumers thousands just to file a claim. Then consumers can be liable for thousands more just to get the arbitrator to hear the case. 

       No Time-Tested Rules

Courts have strict rules, developed over hundreds of years as to what evidence they can consider, what procedures judges must follow and how judges must conduct themselves. Under arbitration, there are no rules to force big corporations turn over records, conduct themselves properly during proceedings or to force arbitrators to consider important evidence before ruling.

       No Due Process

Get a bad ruling from a judge and it is not the end of the world, an appeals court can set things right. Arbitration rulings are final. Nothing forces the arbitrator to follow the basic rule of law. Worse, many arbitrators have no legal training.

       Unfair Forum

Judges have strict rules to act in an unbiased manner and to remove themselves from a case where they have a conflict of interest. Arbitrators not only do not have these rules, they often advertise their services to big corporations with claims of how much money they can save the big corporation. Is it no wonder that one credit card company recently disclosed that it wins 99 percent of its arbitration rulings?


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This Page was Last Updated on 05/05/2004