Earlier this week, a group of consumer advocate organizations filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the CFPB that would prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer contracts in favor of arbitration clauses that would permit consumers to choose between arbitration and litigation only after a dispute has arisen. There are numerous compelling reasons why the CFPB should not engage in such rulemaking.… Continue Reading

Alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), approximately 50,000 Samsung customers filed individual arbitration demands with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) pursuant to an arbitration clause in Samsung’s customer agreement. Samsung refused to pay its share of the AAA’s administrative fees, totaling about $4 million, and the AAA closed the matters for lack of payment.… Continue Reading

Professor Jeff Sovern recently blogged about the FTC’s June 2023 revisions to its Endorsement Guide.  The Guide helps advertisers and endorsers make sure that their advertising using endorsements or testimonials is truthful and not misleading.  The blog focused on the FTC’s adoption of a definition of “clear and conspicuous” as meaning that “a disclosure is difficult to miss (i.e.,… Continue Reading

Professor Jeff Sovern, who recently joined the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law faculty, has recently blogged about a forthcoming Study by academicians at other institutions that will be published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.  The Study, titled “TL;DR: The Law and Linguistics of Social Platform Terms-of-Use,” examines the content and readability of online terms of use and, according to Professor Sovern, “illustrates how crazy arbitration opt-outs have become.” … Continue Reading

We previously wrote about a Ninth Circuit appeal dealing with the use of bellwether procedures to resolve mass arbitration claims brought by thousands of customers against Verizon Wireless.  That appeal remains pending and is scheduled for oral argument in September.  In the meantime, however, a California federal district court has denied Ticketmaster’s motion to compel arbitration of Sherman Act antitrust claims based in large part on the bellwether procedures for mass arbitration claims set forth in the company’s arbitration clause.… Continue Reading

Congratulations to Professor Jeff Sovern who was recently named the inaugural Michael Millemann Professor of Consumer Protection Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  Professor Sovern joins Maryland Carey Law after 40 years on the faculty of St. John’s University School of Law where he wrote about and taught consumer protection law. … Continue Reading

Last week, Professor Jeff Sovern of St. John’s University School of Law published a blog post discussing a new empirical study by Roseanna Sommers, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, dealing with consumer understanding of predispute arbitration agreements.  According to Professor Sovern, the Sommers study augments his earlier (2014) study of this subject and confirms that “consumers are generally unaware of whether their contracts contain arbitration clauses, and consumers who have agreed to such clauses tend to hold mistaken beliefs about their procedural rights ….”… Continue Reading

In January 2023, a federal district court in Texas dismissed Michael v. Opportunity Financial, LLC, a putative class action filed in June 2022 claiming that fintech Opportunity Financial, LLC (OppFi), not its out-of-state, state-chartered bank partners, is the “true lender” on loans with interest rates permitted under the laws of the banks’ home states, but higher than allowed in the plaintiffs’ states. … Continue Reading

We previously blogged about Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that individual employee claims under California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) are subject to arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).  While the Court further ruled that representative employee PAGA claims are not preempted by the FAA, it nevertheless dismissed those claims for lack of standing based on its interpretation of California standing law. … Continue Reading

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that an appeal of the denial of a motion to compel arbitration automatically stays lower court proceedings pending the outcome of the appeal.  The decision in Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski resolves a split between the Third, Fourth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C.… Continue Reading