Why Privatization of the Justice System is Taking Away Consumer Rights: Inside Counsel Turns to Craig Peters to Discuss Forced Arbitration

In the article "Forced Arbitration: Why Privatization of the Justice System is Taking Away Consumer Rights," Inside Counsel turned to Trial Team Leader Craig Peters to discuss why disputes are being pushed out of the court system and leaving consumers in the lurch when they attempt to sue against wrongdoing.

According to Peters, arbitration is sold as a cost-efficient means to relieve the backlogged court system; however, it is crushing the legal system, benefitting the rich and allowing big businesses to infringe on people's rights instead.

"Not only can corporations like Wells Fargo rip off millions of consumers over small amounts of money (that turn into large amounts of money when multiplied by the millions), it also gives local corporations the ability to rip off consumers to the tune of thousands of dollars, while sending a message to other consumers to keep quiet and pay the money," Peters said.

Peters is handling a case against Green Valley Country Club on behalf of members who refused to pay unlawful transfer fees and monthly dues. Through a series of procedural maneuvers, the country club avoided having to answer in court for its unlawful conduct. "The club then moved the court to send the case to arbitration, per the original contract language and Family A and B objected," Peters said. "The court held that the arbitration act applied per the FAA and it had to go to arbitration. The club refused to have a single arbitrator hear the case. Instead, they insisted on a more expensive three-person arbitration panel, which was three times the cost."

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