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September 26, 2007

Bogus Attack on Arbitration Really about Plaintiffs’ Lawyers’ Right to Sue

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard released the following statement on the arbitration system in response to recent trial lawyer-backed studies and legislation aimed at undermining arbitration and encouraging more class action lawsuits:

“The plaintiffs’ lawyers’ attack on the arbitration system – a process that has helped consumers resolve disputes for more than 85 years – is nothing more than their latest attempt to enrich themselves by opening the door for more class action lawsuits.

“Arbitration has successfully given American consumers an effective alternative to get justice by quickly and fairly resolving disputes without being forced into an overcrowded and expensive court system.

“The average federal case takes two years to get resolved at trial, and only one percent of all federal cases actually get to trial. This compares to a recent California study showing that the arbitration system takes, on average, only four months to resolve a dispute. Other studies have shown that consumers initiating arbitration cases win about 60 percent of the time.

“The plaintiffs’ lawyers’ attempt to undermine the arbitration system is not about justice for consumers, it is about growing the size of their own pocketbook.”

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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