Earlier this week, the New York Times published a three part exposé on the “dangers” of arbitration. The Times’ slogan may still be “All the news that fit to print.” but a read through this smear job shows there’s a lot more information that should have been fit into this series.
The authors offer no substantial counter-point to the anti-arbitration rhetoric spewed by plaintiffs’ attorneys and parties who lost when they arbitrated a case or attempted trash their contract and sue. We could just as easily cherry pick data about court cases and conclude that the court system is unjust.
The series ignores all the research that shows consumers actually benefit from arbitration, and conveniently glosses over the fact that lawyers benefit far more than the plaintiffs in class action suits (which the authors hold out as a superior alternative to arbitration).
We encourage you to read through the Times articles because they are fascinating.
Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, October 31, 2015.
In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System,’ Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, November 1, 2015.
In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, November 2, 2015.
But please also take a look at the thoughtful critiques of the series so you get the full story.
New York Times Part 2: Arbitration Responsible for All of the World’s Ills (Well, Just About All), U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, November 4, 2015.
Arbitration Is Everywhere and Not All Bad, Stephen L. Carter in Bloomberg, November 3, 2015.
Dog Bites Man: New York Times Prefers Lawyer-Controlled Class Actions over Fair Arbitration that Enables Individuals to Protect Themselves, U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform, November 2, 2015.
New York Times Assails Arbitration, Walter Olson for Cato, November 2, 2015.
New York Times ‘Expose’ Of Arbitration Clauses Leaves Lawyers In The Shadows, Daniel Fisher in Forbes, November 1, 2015.
Arbitration is speedy, fair, inexpensive, and less adversarial than litigation. Congress and the United States Supreme Court have mandated that courts respect contractual agreements to arbitrate. It’s time for the New York Times and other fear mongers to start respecting the rule of law and the rights of parties to structure their lives via contract, and stop treating arbitration with distain.