"Second-Class Justice": Mandated arbitration denies choice

March 13, 2017

In the early days of the dispute resolution movement—the 1980s and 1990s—the concern was often expressed that we weredeveloping a system of “second-class justice” for those who couldn’t afford the courts. The wealthy, of course, would continue to have access to the “first-class justice” that the developing a system of “second-class justice” for those who couldn’t afford the courts. The wealthy, of course, would continue to have access to the “first-class justice” that the pub-lic courts provided.

That prediction was a bit off. A shift did occur but it wasn’t what many anticipated.

People chose alternative processes—vari-ations on mediation and third-party deci-sion-making—and the dispute resolution field grew. But the well-heeled and large corporate interests, seeing advantages, seized and in-vested heavily in it. Courts were no longer the venue for the justice they were seeking.

LAFF Newsletter, article by Linda Stamato and Sandford Jaffe, Winter 2017 (pp.6-7)

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