The 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion gives companies looking to avoid class arbitrations a powerful tool.

"It should have the effect of reducing certain types of class actions, those [involving plaintiffs] with a contract," said Alan S. Kaplinsky, Chair of Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group. Mr. Kaplinsky long advised clients on consumer arbitration agreements with class action waivers.