On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express, beneath an explanation on interest rates and late fees, past the details about annual membership, is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.”
Buried in the fine print of a majority of consumer contracts - from credit cards and cell phone agreements to nursing home contracts, airline tickets and rental car agreements - are dangerous and onerous forced arbitration clauses. Every day, consumers unknowingly sign agreements containing these clauses in order to receive services or request assistance. Often they have no idea they’ve signed away their legal rights until it’s way too late. 
When a dispute does arise with a company or service provider, the forced arbitration clause says that the consumer cannot take their case to a court of law but instead has to go to a private arbitration forum run by the very corporation the dispute is against.  There is no right to go to court, no right to a trial by jury, no right to investigate the matter, not even a guarantee that the arbitrator who decides your case even has any legal experience. Without the checks and balances we have in our justice system, the deck is clearly stacked against the consumer. Worse yet, the business you have issue with will never be held accountable for what they’ve done.
About The Czack Law Firm
The Czack Law Firm has dedicated over thirty years to providing uncompromising, high-quality legal services, with a personal touch, to injury victims and their families. These services include:
• Automobile and
Motorcycle Accidents
• Commercial Truck
and Bus Accidents
• Construction Accidents
• Nursing Home
Negligence and Abuse
Traumatic Birth Injuries
Insurance Claims and
Surgical Burn Cases
Medical Negligence
Product Defects and
Sports & Recreational
False Claims Act and
Whistleblower Cases
Class Action Claims
Animal Bites
Inadequate Security
The New York Times recently published an investigative series of front page stories exposing the corporate bullying tactics of forced arbitrations. Their research is based on thousands of records, interviews with judges, lawyers, arbitrators and the people affected by forced arbitrations all across the country.
The first story “Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Decks of Justice” describes the practice of forced arbitration, a sort of get-out-of-jail free card for corporate wrongdoing.
The second story, “In
Arbitration, a Privatization
of the Justice System”
tells stories of the devastating impact forced arbitration clauses had
on American consumers,
workers and patients who were harmed, but left with no legal recourse.
Trial lawyer associations I am actively involved with continue to advocate against forced arbitration clauses.  I encourage you to read and share these stories with your family and friends.

Mike Czack

The Gray’s Block
1360 West 9th Street, Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 696-9216