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Companies waste no time requiring arbitrations

Supreme Court decision has launched some banks into action

In the very closely watched case of AT&T v. Concepcion, the Supreme Court ruled in April that state laws can’t override private contracts requiring customers to enter into arbitration agreements with a company rather than settle disputes in court. Not surprisingly, many companies lauded the decision. And since then, some of those companies have wasted little time in taking advantage of the high court’s recent decision.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp., a small bank, made almost immediate changes to its arbitration agreement—moving the arbitration clause to the beginning of the 43-page document and making it boldfaced. The company also took out a provision allowing some cases to be tried in court.

Although this is just one example, the WSJ article cites other banks looking to make similar changes. And Alan Kaplinsky, a partner at Ballard Spahr and chair of the firm’s consumer financial service’s group, told WSJ that he has received an onslaught of requests from companies interested in adopting arbitration clauses in their contracts.   

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Cathleen Flahardy

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