Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Texas' progressive political curmudgeon, Jim Hightower. (photo:

Written by Jim Hightower

Being wronged by a corporation is painful enough, but getting your day in court is no picnic either. Aside from having to go up against a deep-pocket corporation’s pack of snarling lawyers, the judicial system itself is cumbersome, slow, and costly. And to us uninitiated outsiders, a courtroom’s cult-like rituals, punctilious language, and black-robed authoritarians are intimidating. No wonder so many of the workers, consumers, small businesses, and others who get stomped on by the corporate powers shy away from taking their legitimate grievances into those chambers.

Luckily, though, a less formal, alternative system is available to render justice in disputes between corporations and aggrieved citizens. Arbitration, it’s called, allowing two conflicting parties to choose a neutral third party to review facts, hear-out both sides, and make a ruling to resolve the conflict. “Faster, cheaper, and more efficient!” exclaim effusive proponents of the arbitration process.

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