Mizzou Law 3L Wins National Writing Competition

Mizzou Law 3L Isaac Keller just won the 2023 American Journal of Mediation National Dispute Resolution Writing Competition. His article, “Tables Turning: How Companies Should Respond to the “Mass Arbitration” Phenomenon and Abernathy v. DoorDash, Inc.” was selected first place by the American College of Civil Trial Mediators in a national competition. Keller won a $5,000 prize for finishing first place.

Keller’s winning article abstract is as follows:

Over the last four decades, mandatory pre-dispute arbitration has become an increasingly common method for resolving disputes between corporations and consumers or employees. Despite its harm to smaller and disadvantaged parties, the Supreme Court’s pro-arbitration stance and legislative inaction have allowed this trend to continue. Following the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Concepcion, this practice has expanded to include class action waivers. However, a new strategy known as “mass arbitration” is empowering plaintiffs and forcing companies to settle disputes more quickly. This article aims to advise businesses on how to respond to this development, ultimately recommending that businesses reject the conventional wisdom that arbitration provisions with class waivers are advantageous and eliminate mandatory pre-dispute arbitration provisions with class action waivers in consumer and employment contracts.