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September 26th, 2011

Caveat Emptor, for Crying out Loud!

Weary of all the wailing and teeth-gnashing by the plaintiffs’ bar and so-called consumer advocates since two U.S. Supreme Court decisions this year made it a little harder to exploit class action law, American Tort Reform Association communications director Darren McKinney fired up a comment to an online UPI story he sees as too sympathetic to trial lawyers and lawsuits.

The UPI story, “Is class action on its last shaky legs,” quotes Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent from the majority’s arbitration-supporting decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, wherein he seems to endorse more lawsuits while ignoring the obvious benefit of low-cost arbitration when small amounts of money are in dispute.

“[W]ith all due respect to Justice Breyer,” McKinney writes, “no one needs a lawyer to go to arbitration. That’s the whole point of arbitration and, of course, that’s why the trial lawyers hate it. So if ungrateful, nickel-and-diming bottom-feeders really want the $30.22 sales tax back on their otherwise free $350 cellphones, then they can schedule arbitration hearings individually, demonstrate to hearing examiners that nowhere in the sales contract was mention made of consumers’ obligation to pay sales tax, and they will surely be awarded their money back. On the other hand, if the sales contract did obligate them to pay the sales tax but they claim they didn’t read the fine print or were misled by sales personnel, then such admittedly incompetent fools should be ordered to get lost. They’re wasting everyone’s time and money.”

Read the entire UPI story and the rest of McKinney’s comment here.

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