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News
July 20, 2009

U.S. Chamber: Minnesota AG should not Leverage Arbitration Lawsuit to Benefit Trial Bar

Statement of Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, on the recent lawsuit by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson against the National Arbitration Forum:

“The allegations raised by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s lawsuit against the National Arbitration Forum last week, if true, were very troubling.  However, her politicization of the overall issue of consumer arbitration seems to undermine any legitimacy of her accusations.

“The timing of Swanson’s public announcement, the sweeping nature of her public statements and her attempt to strong-arm other arbitration providers make clear that she is using her position as an elected official of a single state to play politics with consumer arbitrations nationwide.

“General Swanson’s public statements emphasize first her political opposition to the concept of pre-dispute consumer arbitration agreements, even as her lawsuit and subsequent settlement were aimed at the specific conflict of interest allegations on the part of a single arbitration provider.

“If General Swanson’s primary interest is truly in protecting consumers, her lawsuit against the NAF would have been enough. But her blatant anti-arbitration political rhetoric in the midst of an otherwise apparently legitimate investigation suggests that her true constituency may not be consumers, but, rather the plaintiffs’ trial bar.”

ILR 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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