The Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Protection Bureau

Editor’s note: This article was originally published earlier this week. Reprinted by permission,, October 2015, Copyright 2015, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

At a Denver field hearing today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will unveil its long-planned proposal to ban the use of arbitration to resolve consumer disputes. In taking this step, the Bureau once again departs from its consumer-protection mission and embraces a very different role—as the “Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Protection Bureau.”

The Bureau will claim that its decision is the product of a comprehensive multi-year study containing the most “empirical” information ever gathered. It will claim to maintain an “open mind” on the issue when it announces its intent to pursue banning arbitration, and likely take pains to say it is banning only “predispute” arbitration. All the while, its Denver “field hearing” will be stocked with consumer representatives criticizing arbitration, with token business representation to give the appearance of balance. The Bureau will conclude this latest show hearing with the promise to weigh carefully the comments received in the small-business review and rulemaking proceedings.

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