Let me first of all state I am not a lawyer. I will wait for the applause to settle down. Kidding.
I recently read an article titled, "AT&T Edits Contract to Preclude Class Actions." It stated that AT&T has amended its terms of service to preclude consumers from participating in class actions, whether handled via litigation or arbitration. They also prohibit consumers from bringing class actions even in an arbitration setting.
It seemed too logical to just amend your terms of service and stick that into them. What a great way to rid our world of class actions once and for all. I mean binding arbitration has been in contracts forever and it seems to meet the various legal challenges. However, this has been challenged once and that was involving a former garbage truck driver for the Atlas Disposal Company. He was trying to sue and get a class over the issue of work breaks, but Atlas had both mandated artbitration and prohibited class actions.
In March, the California Court of Appeals (one of my personal favorites) found such a class action arbitration waiver to be unconscionable and unenforceable. Louisiana, on the other hand, upheld such an agreement.
People have tried to pass common sense class action reform in California and the legislation cannot even get past the first policy committee. The Federal Government passed the Class Action Reform Act of 2005 and that has done little to slow down the trial lawyers.
Class actions continue to be filed, companies stock and pensions are affected, consumers get little to nothing and the trial lawyers walk away with millions in fees. I say keep amending your terms of service or your employment agreements and let the trial lawyers keep challenging it. They will be so busy doing that that they will not have the time to file class actions.
Is it too logical to preclude class actions? I don't really know. I am not a lawyer or a judge, but I like it.