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Arbitration supplants trials

December 22, 2007

Re "Fighting for the right to go to court," Dec. 17

As a consumer and a consumer advocate, it is horrifying to witness the loss of our American right to resolve civil disputes by means of a fair and impartial public jury trial. Our constitutional rights are bleeding to death with a thousand tiny paper cuts from purchase orders, credit applications, contracts, receipts and bill stuffers written by crafty corporate lawyers. This seemingly innocent clutter of mind-dulling fine print is in reality a razor-edged weapon requiring binding, mandatory, nonpublic arbitration of all disputes. Because arbitration occurs silently behind closed doors, the public is largely unaware of the carnage. Many victims do not even know the arbitration process has begun until too late. We must support legislation to stop this hemorrhaging of the rights of U.S. consumers.

Aurora Dawn Harris

Orange

The writer is an attorney.

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