Consumer Contracts Posts

Ending the Use of Customer Arbitration

A recent article published in the New York Times discusses Amazon’s change to its legal complaints process for its customers. Until recently, Amazon customers were required to pursue disputes with the company through a private arbitration process instead of through the courts.

Incorporation of Standard Contract Terms on Websites

The draft of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Consumer Contracts reflects the jurisdiction of the US courts on the ‘adoption’ (as the draft calls it) of standard contract terms into consumer contracts. This draft is of great value to European lawyers in understanding US developments, but it may also stimulate a reflection on the state and possible evolution of European legal systems.

Consumer Contracts and the Restatement Project

The Restatement project presumes the exercise of nonpartisan judgment. Some criticisms of the draft are more political tracts than analytic critiques. Because the Draft does a good job analyzing and distilling the law, the real question in this debate is whether the ALI and the Restatement project as a whole can withstand efforts to use the tools and standards of retail politics to defeat the analytic approach of the Draft. To the extent such efforts succeed, the Restatement concept as a whole will fail.