The first presentation was by Frank Laney, Circuit Mediator for the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, who opened his talk by focusing on consumer arbitration.
After reviewing its history he
noted that "[c]orporations' dissatisfaction with the prospects of defending against lawsuits in courts have lead to the biggest recent growth in the arbitration market - arbitration of consumer or employment contracts by large corporations.
In reaction to this trend is a push back which can be noted by the actions of federal courts and legislatures.
There is no clear prospect of a federal act to protect consumers in arbitration agreements but the courts have issued opinions that limit the use of arbitration.
has analyzed some recent jurisprudence to ascertain the trend in the state ( Booker v. Robert Half International 413 F.3d 77 (D.C. Cir. 2005), Morrison v. Circuit City 317 F.3d 646 (6th Cir. 2003), Gannon v. Circuit City 262 F.3d 677 (8th Cir. 2001), Graham Oil v. ARCO 43 F.3d 1244 (9th Cir. 1994), Hooters v. Phillips 173 F.3d 933 (4th Cir. 1999).
noted in closing that the project of arbitration has a success story in North Carolina (as when a Dutch company building a plant introduced "arbitration days," which prevented all litigation) and this model will likely be seen more often.
To conclude, and to paraphrase Frank Laney
, is then the wave of arbitration in North Carolina growing?