CUNA Files Amicus Brief in Arbitration Agreement Lawsuit

October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022
Washington, D.C.

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) filed an amicus brief Thursday on behalf of Golden 1 Credit Union in Burgardt v. The Golden 1 Credit Union, a legal proceeding involving arbitration agreements.  

At issue is the process by which an arbitration agreement can be added to a contract. More specifically, whether a membership agreement can subsequently be amended to include such a provision, providing the member has had an opportunity to opt-out. A member of Golden 1 Credit Union received notice of the addition of an arbitration agreement and was provided an opportunity to opt-out but did not do so. Thus, we agree with Golden 1 Credit Union that the member should be compelled to arbitrate a separate legal issue he has raised. 

The brief notes that “operational uncertainty abounds in determining the enforceability of arbitration agreements added through mutual assent, including the notice-and-opportunity-to-opt-out process used by The Golden 1 Credit Union.”  

Specifically, CUNA believes: 

  • Golden 1 Credit Union’s position that it can add an arbitration provision through mutual assent, specifically notice and the opportunity to opt-out, is correct under the law.    
  • Standards created by the courts are “confusing, often conflicting, and lack even-handed reasoning that comport with the Federal Arbitration Act’s equal-treatment principle.” 
  • Limiting credit unions’ use of arbitration agreements will harm access to the safe and affordable services credit unions provide, including services provided to those who lack access to traditional banking.   

The state superior court denied Golden 1’s motion to compel arbitration, and this decision was affirmed by the state appellate court. The California Supreme Court declined to review the decision. CUNA’s brief was filed in support of Golden 1’s petition that the United States Supreme Court review the Court of Appeal’s decision. 


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Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 130 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit

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