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The Irony Of At&T V. Concepcion, Colin P. Marks Jan 2012

The Irony Of At&T V. Concepcion, Colin P. Marks

Faculty Articles

Irony is defined as, “the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning.” Though many other definitions of the word exist, in light of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in AT&T v. Concepcion, this definition comes to mind. Read broadly, the decision strikes a blow to the ability of consumers to bring suits against companies, both inside and outside of arbitration. But that was not the intent behind the federal act which the Court relied upon to justify its decision.

In 1925, when Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), its intended purpose was to promote enforcement of arbitration clauses. Congress did not sweep away all state-created defenses to contract; however; quite the contrary, Congress inserted a savings clause that arbitration provisions could be stricken just as any other contract could, “upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity.” It was upon this basis that the Ninth Circuit upheld a decision to strike down a clause in an agreement between AT&T and the Concepcions which required not ...


Do We Have A Debt Collection Crisis? Some Cautionary Tales Of Debt Collection In Indiana, Judith Fox Jan 2012

Do We Have A Debt Collection Crisis? Some Cautionary Tales Of Debt Collection In Indiana, Judith Fox

Journal Articles

The Federal Trade Commission, in 2009, raised issues about debt collection practices and called on jurisdictions to investigate local practices that may be abusive to consumers. This article is the beginning of a larger study of debt collection practices in Indiana. It examines debt collection cases filed in Indiana courts in a three month period of 2009 and 2011 While most research on this issues has been in small claims court systems, this article suggests that the same, if not greater, consumer abuses exist in other courts. The research shows a pattern of large, national debt collection firms moving away ...


Legal Process In A Box, Or What Class Action Waivers Teach Us About Law-Making, Rhonda Wasserman Jan 2012

Legal Process In A Box, Or What Class Action Waivers Teach Us About Law-Making, Rhonda Wasserman

Articles

The Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion advanced an agenda found in neither the text nor the legislative history of the Federal Arbitration Act. Concepcion provoked a maelstrom of reactions not only from the press and the academy, but also from Congress, federal agencies and lower courts, as they struggled to interpret, apply, reverse, or cabin the Court’s blockbuster decision. These reactions raise a host of provocative questions about the relationships among the branches of government and between the Supreme Court and the lower courts. Among other questions, Concepcion and its aftermath force us to ...