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2014

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"Whimsy Little Contracts" With Unexpected Consequences: An Empirical Analysis Of Consumer Understanding Of Arbitration Agreements, Jeff Sovern, Elayne E. Greenberg, Paul F. Kirgis, Yuxiang Liu Nov 2014

"Whimsy Little Contracts" With Unexpected Consequences: An Empirical Analysis Of Consumer Understanding Of Arbitration Agreements, Jeff Sovern, Elayne E. Greenberg, Paul F. Kirgis, Yuxiang Liu

Working Papers

Arbitration clauses have become ubiquitous in consumer contracts. These arbitration clauses require consumers to waive the constitutional right to a civil jury, access to court, and, increasingly, the procedural remedy of class representation. Because those rights cannot be divested without consent, the validity of arbitration agreements rests on the premise of consent. Consumers who do not want to arbitrate or waive their class rights can simply decline to purchase the products or services covered by an arbitration agreement. But the premise of consent is undermined if consumers do not understand the effect on their procedural rights of clicking a box ...