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Wednesday, September 04, 2013


Paul Bland

I agree that the distant forum issue is not present with AAA or JAMS. A big part of my practice is having consumers or consumer lawyers show me arbitration clauses and ask for my advice as to if and how they might be challenged. My experience, which admittedly is anecdotal and not scientific, but from a fairly large sample, suggests that many smaller market players are moving away from AAA (and very few of them use JAMS). I see more and more small lenders, credit repair organizations, and similar entities using arbitration firms with vague names and vague websites, about whom no one seems to know anything. This isn't an issue with major corporations like Citibank or AT&T or whatnot, but for smaller players, I am seeing more provisions that would have been struck down by most courts just a few years ago. Distant forum provisions, loser pays clauses, limitations on damages and attorneys' fees -- these had been disappearing from arbitration clauses a few years ago, and in the wake of the Rent-A-Center case my strong impression is that a growing number of smaller corporations are feeling adventurous and emboldened to use plainly terms.

Kevin Scheuneman

When I say "preferably JAMS", I want to clarify.

Under JAMS minimum consumer Protocols, consumer is only responsible for $250 in arbitration fees, and JAMS could give a fee waiver for that. Business gets the rest of the arbitration bill past $250.

A very simple JAMS arbitration under consumer rules can easily cost business $10,000. Arbitrators charge $600-$800 per hour. Sometimes arbitrations can cosrt business six figures easily.

This business wants arbitration, if JAMS is an option, I'd give it to them!

JAMS will be a very prohibitive litigation cost prospect for business here if its a contract option.

Consumer should sieze the JAMS option here.

Apologize for my mediocre spelling in previous post.

Kevin Scheunemann
Kewaskum, WI

Kevin Scheuneman

The location issues will be easily resolved.

NAF is not supposed to be taking consumer cases per the MN AG consent decree.

AAA and JAMS have minimum consumer rules indicating arbitration has to take place in hometown or home Federal district of consumer.

In my consumer experience, (15 consumer arbitration cases in both JAMS and AAA) JAMS and AAA will analyze the clause and force the business to waive this provision to arbitrate in Arizona. If business refuses to adhere to minimum consumer protocols, JAMS and AAA will REFUSE to arbitrate.

Court rulings sem clear when the arbitration companies mentioned in the contract refuse to arbitrate...clause is unable to be enforced.

All consumer lawyer has to do is initiate the arbitration, (preferably with JAMS) send in the clause, and let the forum do the work in forcing business to comply with consumer protocols.

If we are not dealing with the big 3 arbitration forums in this particular contract, then I agree with the oputrage here, because the lessor known forums have not adopted these important consumer protections.

Kevin Scheunemann
Kewaskum, WI

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