Blogger Kenneth Jost wrote a post Sunday about the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings limiting class action lawsuits. By Monday, Jost updated the post to mention new Court decisions deemed hostile to civil litigation.
On the issue of class actions, Jost discussed recent Court rulings that allow corporations to circumvent class actions through the use of arbitration clauses. Jost views this as unfair:
…but Congress approved Rule 23, the class action rule in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to allow some forms of mass litigation to ensure effective vindication of legal rights. Brian Fitzpatrick, a civil litigation expert at Vanderbilt Law School, said the latest decision continued a series of Roberts Court rulings that allow companies to use arbitration to protect themselves from class actions. “There is little future” for class actions, he warned.
Of course, we’ve never had class actions in state court in Mississippi. So this just means that federal jurisdiction is becoming more like Mississippi. Who would have thought it?
Incidentally, I predict that Congress will eventually ban pre-dispute arbitration provisions. I don’t think this law is imminent, but expect to see it before I retire.