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If forced consumer arbitration is fair, shouldn't the distribution of outcomes in arbitration be comparable to the distribution of outcomes in the public court system?


The studies we've reviewed indicate the answer is far from yes. This points to a problem. Is forced consumer arbitration a more efficient way of getting to fair resolution or is it a way to tilt the playing field by perverting incentives?

If we assume arbitrators are generally impartial (an open question), why is the distribution of arbitration outcomes lopsided in favor of businesses?

One theory is that the lack of transparency in consumer arbitration prevents consumers and their counsel from learning the lessons of prior cases. So unsuccessful strategies are employed repeatedly. We have our doubts about this theory but can help test it.

Level Playing Field is a regularly-updated searchable database of consumer arbitration cases - with ongoing summary analysis. This allows parties to more readily share information and perform due diligence and analysis that was previously difficult-to-impossible.

It's also an experiment. Can measuring and sharing the distribution of outcomes result in a shift? Can we help make forced arbitration fairer?

Over time, and as our budget allows, we plan to add features that allow parties to share information about their case. e.g., "I sued Big Bank over this and here is my complaint"; or, "this case is related to this court case"; or even further, for attorneys, "contact me if you're considering a similar case and I'll help you learn from our lessons."

In addition, Level Playing Field allows you to perform such due diligence as: how has Johnny Arbitrator decided in the past?

Level Playing Field is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Monetary donations are fully tax-deductible. The more money we can raise, the mose useful features we can develop.

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