Can You Change a Service Contract Only on a Website?
Jul 30, 2007, 15:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by PJ)
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"Now, when the lower court ruled against Douglas, he was in a
bit of a pickle because the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C.
§ 16, doesn't authorize interlocutory appeals of a district
court order compelling arbitration. Once arbitration has got you,
it's really got you, as you will see when you read the ruling. In
the courts words, to overturn an arbitration award, "a party needs
to show 'affirmative misconduct' or 'irrational[ity]' in the
arbitration to vacate" it. That's why companies like arbitration
instead of the regular court system, I suppose. And here is the guy
wanting to do a class action, and now he's been told he has to go
through arbitration, but the same court that is upholding that
requirement is at the same time upholding the other new terms
added, presumably, including the waiver of any class actions.
Worse, as the court explains, if he won the arbitration regarding
damages claims, on what basis would he then have standing to
appeal? It would then be theoretically possible that the decision
that forced arbitration on him would also insulate the decision
from any review."