California was once a bastion of consumer protection, but a big Supreme Court decision in 2011 was a game-changer, essentially wiping out many consumer class actions in favor of private arbitration.

Arbitration companies in California have long been required to make their records public, but many don’t bother, leaving consumers in the dark about a rapidly growing sector of the state’s justice system.

Jon Perz’s six-year journey through arbitration has made him the poster child for the campaign against an alternative method of resolving legal disputes that is becoming inescapable for consumers, and that even some industry insiders say is biased in favor of corporations.