The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the second federal circuit to tell a company offering consumer services that it cannot simply ban class actions by inserting a provision in an arbitration clause in its contracts.

Consumer lawyers have lauded the court’s decision in Kristian v. Comcast Corp., No. 04-2619 and No. 04-2655 (1st Cir. April 2006), as the first to recognize that the bans deprive plaintiffs of the ability to exercise their statutory rights under federal antitrust law.