Alan S. Kaplinsky, who chairs Ballard Spahr’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Group and pioneered the use of arbitration clauses in bank and credit card agreements, has been named by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to present the industry perspective at a field hearing on arbitration in Newark, New Jersey tomorrow.

The agency typically uses field hearings as the venue for announcing new developments. This hearing is likely to coincide with the release and submission to Congress of the CFPB’s arbitration study, which the agency conducted under Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act. CFPB Director Richard Cordray will speak at the hearing, which will feature testimony from consumer and industry representatives. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. at Essex Community College’s J. Harry Smith Lecture Hall, 303 University Avenue, Newark. It will be live-streamed.

“My partners and I have fought vigorously to have arbitration agreements enforced and we have played a central role in the great debate over their use,” said Mr. Kaplinsky. “Arbitration is beneficial for consumers because it is faster, cheaper, and more efficient than court litigation. It is a fair and time-tested way of settling disputes. In fact, consumers fare far better in arbitration than they do as members of class actions.”

Mr. Kaplinsky, who has more than four decades of experience representing financial institutions of every size and structure, is one of six panelists who will make presentations at the hearing. Ballard Spahr is a go-to law firm for issues involving the CFPB. The firm’s CFPB Monitor blog was for three straight years named one of the best law firm blogs by the American Bar Association. . Mr. Kaplinsky is past chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Consumer Financial Services and is the first president of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers. He has spoken nationally and written extensively on arbitration.

The CFPB began seeking information about arbitration in April 2012, when it published a request for information about the scope, methodology, and data sources for its study. Mr. Kaplinsky represented the American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, and Financial Services Roundtable in responding to that request.

In December 2013, the agency published preliminary results. Section 1028 of Dodd-Frank requires the CFPB to conduct the study and allows it to regulate, limit, or even prohibit the use of arbitration in the offering of consumer financial products or services if doing so is found to be “in the public interest and for the protection of consumers.”

“We believe that, once consumers are fairly presented with the facts, they will typically choose arbitration over litigation. The Bureau could play a constructive role by presenting to Congress a balanced presentation of the benefits and drawbacks,” Mr. Kaplinsky said. “We have participated in many arbitrations and have seen them work. It is my sincere hope that the Bureau has taken a fair and even-handed look at the facts.”

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