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The American Arbitration Association is Attempting to Grow its Power Over Americans

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Paul Bland, an attorney with Public Justice has blogged an informative post raising concerns over the American Arbitration Associations attempt to grow its power over Americans by increasing the scope of its Arbitration domain to include health care cases.

Although most people haven’t heard of it, they have a big stake in the integrity and honesty of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). The reason is simple: it’s rapidly gaining more and more power over Americans. More and more big corporations insist that their customers and employees sign mandatory arbitration agreements taking away their right to go to court as a condition of getting goods or services or as a condition of getting or keeping a job. And of the private corporations that are increasingly replacing the American civil justice system, the AAA is the most prominent and largest.

While previously promising to the public, to the media, and to legislatures that it would not to hear pre-dispute arbitrations in heath care cases, AAA has broken this promise by taking such claims. The effect as related by Bland can be devastating to a claimant.

Experienced lawyers know that, in any given type of case, most AAA arbitrators tend to be lawyers whose principal job is defending companies that might be defendants in similar cases

. Mandatory arbitration before the AAA, in a case like this will likely be argued before arbitrators who are lawyers that work at law firms where they and their partners represent other health care providers in defending against medical malpractice cases. In short, when forced to arbitrate a consumer is not likely to get a level playing field.