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Reuters Cites Scott Nelson on Forced Arbitration

By Alison Frankel

“I should first say that Public Citizen’s Scott Nelson, who was counsel of record for the plaintiffs opposing both the AT&T and Comcast petitions, argued in the consumers’ briefs that the companies are exaggerating the implications of the 9th Circuit’s decision and, indeed, the California Supreme Court’s McGill rule. The rule only gives consumers a right to seek injunctions, Nelson argued in the AT&T opposition brief. Companies can still mandate arbitration of individual disputes – and can even require individual arbitrations to take place before consumers can go to court for an injunction. Or, Nelson said, companies can allow consumers to arbitrate claims for a public injunction.”

“AT&T (and Comcast, according to Public Citizen’s brief opposing its petition for review), required consumers to sign arbitration provisions in which the restriction on injunctive relief could not be severed from the rest of the clause. Other companies, Nelson argued, redrafted their arbitration provisions after California adopted the McGill rule to distinguish between public injunctions, which can’t be forced into arbitration, and individual claims, which must still be arbitrated.”


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