Banned ItemsIn 2016, despite contracts that mandate one-on-one arbitrations, consumers will likely gain the right to bring claims against banks, credit card issuers, and other lenders in class actions. The new rule, which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on October 7, 2015 it will probably issue next year, will partially reverse a string of recent Supreme Court decisions that made class-banning arbitration clauses broadly enforceable.

The action by the Bureau will vastly raise the stakes for disputes involving practices affecting large numbers of consumer finance customers.
Continue Reading Banning Bans on (Some) Class Cases

LuxotticaConcepcion in question

Last week, the Ninth Circuit found a way around the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011). The panel held, 2-1, that a qui tam-like claim differs enough from a state-law class action claim to take it beyond Concepcion‘s preemptive reach.

The ruling means, in the Ninth Circuit, that Concepcion will not allow defendants to use arbitration clauses to defeat claims that private plaintiffs bring on behalf of the state and that defendants may therefore face individual cases, in court or arbitration, that put far more than the individuals’ claims at stake.
Continue Reading Qui Tam-Like Claim Eludes Arbitration Act Oblivion — For Now

California law favors class actions.  So much so that Golden State courts have struck down class-action bans that show up in consumer contracts whether they apply to lawsuits, Discover Bank v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, 113 P.2d 1100 (Cal. 2005), or arbitration cases, America Online v. Superior Court, 108 Cal. Rptr. 2d 699