As part of our ongoing efforts to improve forum performance, we will be migrating to new servers within the week (perhaps on the weekend). Once we finalize the actual date and time, a notice will be posted here at least 4 hours prior to "go time". We expect a fairly long maintenance period of approximately 1-2 hours during the move.
The move to new servers is happening tonight at somewhere around 1amMIDNIGHT EST. There will be a significant period of downtime (30 minutes to 2 hours). Wish us luck!
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
Surprise! The Supreme Court Just Killed the Consumer Class-Action Lawsuit
The Supreme Court gave corporations a major win Wednesday, ruling in a 5-4 decision that companies can block their disgruntled customers from joining together in a class-action lawsuit. The ruling arose from a California lawsuit involving cellphones, but it will have a nationwide impact.
In the past, consumers who bought a product or a service had been free to join a class-action lawsuit if they were dissatisfied or felt they had been cheated. By combining these small claims, they could bring a major lawsuit against a corporation.
But in Wednesday's decision, the high court said that under the Federal Arbitration Act companies can force these disgruntled customers to arbitrate their complaints individually, not as part of a group. Consumer-rights advocates said this rule would spell the end for small claims involving products or services..
Mandatory Binding Arbitration is already a part of many contracts, and will undoubtedly become even more widespread in the near future. Here's what the House Judiciary Committee has to say about Mandatory Binding Arbitration
Most consumers have little or no meaningful choice about submitting to arbitration; because all corporations in entire industries are adopting these clauses, people have no choice.
Private arbitration companies are under great pressure to devise systems that favor the corporate repeat players who draft the arbitration clauses (and thus decide which arbitration companies will receive their lucrative business)
There is no meaningful review of arbitrator's decisions. Under current law, arbitrators enjoy near complete freedom to ignore their own rules, the facts, and even the law in any given case, without fear that their rulings will be seriously examined by any later court - and without fear of personal or professional consequences
Many corporations tack on unfair provisions to their arbitration clauses that are not inherent to the idea of arbitration, but that further rig the systems against individuals. For example, some corporations impose "loser pays rules" to discourage individuals from bringing claims; that strip individuals of substantiative statutory rights; that require people to arbitrate their claims across the country
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. formed the majority.
Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan formed the dissent.