As Congress decides the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which could ban arbitration in the consumer financial services industry, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) this week met to discuss consumer arbitration. The national meeting featured Ballard Spahr partner Alan Kaplinsky, who is nationally recognized for his work in this area.

Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett and Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock chaired the NAAG Fall Consumer Protection Conference, held October 25 through 28 in Memphis, Tennessee. A representative from virtually every attorney general’s office in the nation attended.

Mr. Kaplinsky, who represents many of the world's largest banks and is known for pioneering the use of consumer arbitration in the banking industry, spoke about the current state of the procedure in the marketplace. In July, the National Arbitration Forum was sued by the Minnesota Attorney General and, as a result, stopped handling consumer arbitrations.

"This is a remarkable time in the banking industry, and the outcome of the national debate over arbitration will essentially affect every person in America who holds a credit card," said Mr. Kaplinsky, Chair of Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group. "Much is riding on what is happening on Capitol Hill right now."