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Over the last few decades, the Supreme Court has steadily expanded the reach of forced arbitration clauses – clauses that companies embed in the fine print of standard-form contracts to deny consumers and workers the right to band together to sue those corporations in court. While the Court’s decisions that set this trend in motion trace back to the 1980s, the real game changers have been more recent: 2010’s Rent-A-Center v. Jackson, holding that arbitration clauses must be enforced even when they are part of an illegal contract; 2011’s AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, granting companies the unfettered right to enforce clauses that ban class actions; and 2013’s American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, requiring enforcement even when doing so has the practical effect of completely precluding redress under a law enacted by Congress.


Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Law