In an important opinion on the enforceability of online contract terms, Senior Circuit Judge Robert D. Sack walks through the last decade and a half of online contracting law on the way to invalidating an arbitration provision in an agreement involving a so-called Web loyalty program. Judge Sack concluded in
Case law has developed over the years with respect to enforceability of Web site terms and conditions, and the general parameters are now pretty well understood. Courts will, in general, enforce online terms and conditions against consumer users, provided they are given adequate notice and an opportunity for review.
There are numerous exceptions to the general rule, however. Courts often refuse to enforce specific terms in Web site terms and conditions against consumers, particularly where those terms involve class action waivers, arbitration requirements, inconvenient forum choices, and like provisions.
The case of Burcham v. Expedia, involving a pro se attorney’s challenge to the enforceability of the Expedia travel site terms and conditions, is not one of those exceptions.…