On October 20, the New Jersey Assembly voted 50-22-1 in favor of an anti-arbitration bill that is disguised as a bill protecting “rights.” A3064, would bar state agencies from entering into contracts with businesses that require individuals to “give up any right or remedy provided by the laws of this State.” Although this sounds innocent enough, it is actually an indirect attempt to penalize businesses that use standard form contracts that provide for binding arbitration in lieu of a jury trial.
If this legislation passes and is successful in deterring businesses from including such provisions in their contracts, the state would have succeeded primarily in facilitating a wealth transfer from lower and middle-class consumers to wealthy attorneys who make money litigating class actions.
If this legislation becomes law, but is not successful at deterring businesses from including arbitration clauses in their contracts, the state of New Jersey will face significant difficulty procuring necessary products from businesses that choose lower prices and predictable contracts over state business.
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute is opposing this bill and its companion in the Senate, S2450.
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