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Cato Institute on Corporations

 

 


Let consumers choose to use private court or arbitration

Stop arbitration! That's the latest battle cry from the Trial Lawyers. The new goal is to tighten the lawyers' monopoly grip on the court system, and prevent the rest of us from choosing a more efficient means of resolving our disputes. How could that happen? Just get Congress to enact legislation that will rein in the growing movement toward arbitration.

What is this thing that some lawyers find so threatening? Arbitration is simply private court. Lawyers with a vested interest in a monopoly court system are trying to stop the arbitration business from developing. Lawyers who feel threatened by arbitration assert that arbitration is fine when it's used by two well-informed businesses. But when ordinary consumers are "forced" to use arbitration, that takes away their constitutional right to a jury trial. But there's nothing forced or mandatory about it. Contracts are the result of choice. People should be free to choose for themselves what contracts to make and what rights to give up.

Source: Cato Institute voting recommendation: mandatory arbitration , May 3, 2002

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Page last updated: Aug 03, 2017