Schwartz and Appel Highlight Benefits of Predispute Arbitration Agreements

Shook Public Policy Group Co-Chair Victor Schwartz and Of Counsel Chris Appel have written "Setting the Record Straight About the Benefits of Pre-Dispute Arbitration" for the Washington Legal Foundation's Legal Backgrounders, arguing that binding predispute arbitration agreements can be a useful method for handling disputes despite the plaintiff's bar's efforts to lobby for litigation prohibiting the agreements.  
"A principal benefit of pre-dispute arbitration agreements, and arbitration generally, is that it provides consumers, employees, and other claimants with an efficient means to obtain redress for a large number of claims in which civil litigation is impractical," Schwartz and Appel explain. "Pursuing a lawsuit can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor for anyone, and may simply be an unrealistic option where an alleged injury is of an individualized nature and too modest in potential value to attract the assistance of a lawyer."
Schwartz and Appel detail some myths around binding predispute arbitration agreements, including that litigation will result in better outcomes for plaintiffs. "Empirical studies find 'no evidence that plaintiffs fare significantly better in litigation,'" they note, and they argue that class action litigation can specifically be unsuccessful for consumers. "These studies indicate that the true beneficiaries of class action litigation are not consumers or other claimants, but rather the plaintiffs’ lawyers who bring these cases and collect substantial attorneys’ fees."