August 2, 2011

From The Wall Street Journal

Some small and regional U.S. banks are prohibiting unhappy customers from taking their complaints to court or joining class-action lawsuits, instead requiring them to resolve disputes through arbitration. The banks are emboldened by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in April that said state laws can't supersede private contracts that require customers to present their complaints individually to an arbitrator.

"Most of our community-bank clients believe that having the arbitration clause would be beneficial," says Joseph Porter, chairman of the financial-institutions practice at law firm Polsinelli Shughart in St. Louis.

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As counsel to a variety of corporations, Porter, has over 30 years experience in providing the full range of legal services required by businesses, including mergers and acquisitions, equity offerings, financing arrangements, strategic planning and resolving disputes among owners or board members.

Much of his practice is devoted to the financial institutions industry and the special regulatory issues involved in the operation of state and federal banks and savings and loan associations. With his notable experience and established reputation among regulatory authorities, Porter provides expert assistance to clients with acquisitions and divestitures, corporate restructurings, regulatory compliance issues, introduction of new product lines and expansion into other geographic areas through branching or acquisition.