The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) selected Alan S. Kaplinsky, chair of Ballard Spahr’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Group, to present the industry perspective at its field hearing on the use of arbitration in consumer disputes. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, at 11 a.m. MDT at the History Colorado Center in Denver.

Mr. Kaplinsky pioneered the use of arbitration clauses in credit card and other consumer financial services agreements, which has been widely adopted throughout the industry. Along with his colleagues at the firm, he has been a leading advocate of arbitration as an alternative to expensive and protracted court litigation. The hearing will include remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, other industry representatives, and members of the public.

The CFPB typically uses field hearings to announce new developments, and Mr. Kaplinsky said he anticipates the Bureau will use Wednesday’s session to announce its next step toward issuing a proposed arbitration rule: convening a small business review panel. The panel is required under Dodd-Frank and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) to provide input on the proposed CFPB arbitration rule. In conjunction with the hearing, the CFPB is expected to release materials it will provide to the panel, including a proposal outline.

Mr. Kaplinsky was one of six panelists at the CFPB’s field hearing on arbitration in March 2015 in Newark, New Jersey, which coincided with release of the final results of the CFPB’s consumer arbitration study required under Dodd-Frank. That law also empowers the CFPB to regulate, limit, or even prohibit arbitration agreements 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.”

“Arbitration is mutually beneficial because it is faster, cheaper, and more efficient than court litigation,” Mr. Kaplinsky said. “Arbitration is fair and time-tested and, in fact, benefits consumers more than class actions.”

Mr. Kaplinsky has represented clients in numerous significant lawsuits concerning the enforceability of arbitration clauses with class action waivers, including the Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding such clauses, AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion. He is past chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Consumer Financial Services and the first president of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers. He has spoken nationally and written extensively on arbitration.

Ballard Spahr attorneys handle a wide variety of matters involving the CFPB. The firm’s CFPB Monitor blog was named among the best law firm blogs by the American Bar Association and is widely regarded as a definitive source for information and analysis of CFPB-related issues.