George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Congress, the Courts, and Consumer Arbitration

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: Reserve Officers Associaition
  • Division: Civil Justice Academy

From credit cards to mobile apps to social media sites, mandatory arbitration clauses that require users to resolve disputes through private arbitration instead of lawsuits have become ubiquitous. Fans, including many businesses, say they reduce the cost and increase the speed of settling legal claims, which benefits both parties. That’s why Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act: to guarantee that arbitration agreements would be legally enforceable.

The problem? Many consumers don’t even know they’ve agreed to an arbitration clause because they’re often hidden in the fine print. Critics hold that consumers shouldn’t be fooled into giving up their right to a day in court, where they have greater legal protections. Some Members of Congress raise the same concerns and want to restrict when and how arbitration agreements can be used.

Our thanks to the panel of experts who discussed and debated this topic:

Remington A. Gregg, Civil Justice and Consumer Protection Counsel, Public Citizen

Bill McInturff, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Public Opinion Strategies

Travis J. Norton, Of Counsel, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP

See below for photos from the event.

Questions?  Contact our Program Assistant, Andrew McCarthy at