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Another California Court Does Backflips To Thwart Arbitration And Elevate The Class-Action Device

The hostility of some California courts to arbitration—and their resistance to preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)—has produced nearly three decades of U.S. Supreme Court reversals. The most recent is AT&T...more

Waiting for Iskanian, Part 2: Italian Colors, Sonic-Calabasas and Iskanian

One would have thought in the wake of Concepcion that Gentry was doomed: Concepcion expressly killed off Discover Bank; Gentry was expressly described by the Court itself as a gloss on Discover Bank; therefore, Concepcion...more

California Supreme Court to Tackle Labor and Insurance Issues

The California Supreme Court has five civil cases scheduled for its April calendar, each addressing important questions of labor and insurance law. ...more

What if the Agreed Upon Arbitrator No Longer Conducts Arbitrations? The North Carolina Court of Appeals Answers in Torrence

Defining the power of arbitration agreements has been a hot topic at the federal and state levels for the past couple of years. In a recent post, we discussed two North Carolina Court of Appeals decisions that validated the...more

Reading The Halliburton Argument’s Tea Leaves

Does today’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in the Halliburton case provide any clues regarding the Court’s likely decision? (For background regarding the case, see yesterday’s post.)...more

Tenth Circuit Rejects State Law Challenge to FAA Primacy

In the aftermath of AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion and American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, consumer lawyers have frequently argued that arbitration agreements should be invalidated if features other than the...more

Which Arbitration Agreement Clauses Will Texas Courts Find Unconscionable?

In recent years, courts have consistently supported employers’ use of arbitration agreements in employment settings. During the last few terms, the Supreme Court of the United States has issued several decisions, such as...more

Back to the Future: The CFPB’s Arbitration Report Could Signal a Return to the Days Before Concepcion

The “preliminary” report on consumer arbitration issued late last year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appears to be another marker along the road leading to the end of alternative dispute resolution as a primary...more

Fifth Circuit Permits Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed a victory to employers in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 12-60031, 2013 W.L. 6231617 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2013), reversing an Order of the National Labor...more

Employee Arbitration Agreements in California: Employers, Don’t Put Your Thumb on the Scale

Recent decisions by the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeal demonstrate that California courts will scrutinize and find unconscionable employee arbitration...more

California State and Federal Courts Renew Their Attacks On Arbitration Agreements

In 1991, Sega introduced the video character Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic became insanely popular, spawning several generations of videogames that are still being designed and sold today, comic books, and even a short-lived...more

The California Supreme Court Curtails Concepcion’s Protection of Arbitration Agreements

In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the United States Supreme Court analyzed whether a court could refuse to enforce an arbitration agreement because the terms are “unconscionable,” meaning that one party did not have meaningful...more

Clean-Up in Aisle 9: Ninth Circuit Finds Ralphs Grocery Company’s Arbitration Policy Unconscionable Under State Law Not Preempted...

As we have reported on several occasions, a string of United States Supreme Court cases over the past few years has strengthened the use and applicability of arbitration provisions in contracts. For example, in AT&T Mobility...more

Sonic-Calabasas II: A New Wrinkle In Arbitration Law In California

The California Supreme Court’s decision in Sonic Calabassas A, Inc. v. Moreno has the potential to eliminate a powerful tool used by employers to avoid administrative hearings before the California Department of Labor,...more

Did You Know…The Continuing Saga Of Arbitration Agreements & Unconscionability

In light of the United States Supreme Court decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the California Supreme Court recently reversed its own prior decision where it had held that an arbitration agreement that requires an...more

California Courts Rule for and against Arbitration

Two recent Ninth Circuit opinions and a California Supreme Court ruling demonstrate that the debate over the enforceability of consumer arbitration provisions is far from over. With the U.S. Supreme Court weighing whether to...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Application Of Supreme Court Arbitration Holdings On State Law

On October 17, the Supreme Court of California held that, while the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a California state-law rule categorically prohibiting waiver of state pre-arbitration protections in arbitration...more

Arbitration Wars: The California Supreme Court Strikes Back In Sonic II

On October 17, 2013, the California Supreme Court revisited the enforceability of arbitration agreements in California. The Court released its decision Sonic-Calabasas Inc. v. Moreno (Sonic II). In that 5 – 2 ruling, the...more

California Confirms Preemption by FAA Over State Rule Barring Employee Waiver - Mostly

In Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (Sonic II), the California Supreme Court addressed an employee’s waiver of access to an administrative hearing, in this case a Berman hearing, in an arbitration agreement imposed as a...more

California Supreme Court Follows Concepcion But Allows Courts To Strike Down Unconscionable Arbitration Agreements

Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, No. S174475, (October 17, 2013): As expected following the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the California Supreme...more

The California Supreme Court Tackles The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Concepcion – Still Finds Wiggle Room For California...

The enforceability of employment-related arbitration agreements has been a hot-button issue these past couple of years. The latest fight, federal vs. California law, has just played out in the California Supreme Court’s very...more

Round 2: Arbitration Agreements v. California Supreme Court

Why it matters: Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (“Sonic II”) presents a mixed bag for employers. While the California Supreme Court reversed itself, acknowledging that the waiver of a Berman hearing is not per se...more

Sonic Calabasas Is A Tactical Retreat From Supreme Court FAA Precedent

On October 17, 2013, in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, the California Supreme Court issued a 73-page decision (excluding concurrence and dissent) that attempted to construe the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Federal...more

Is Your ADR Clause Enforceable?

A number of recent court decisions have addressed the enforceability of contract clauses that call for alternative dispute resolution procedures instead of traditional courtroom litigation. ...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review in Brown

The impact of the California Court of Appeal’s recent opinion in Brown v. Superior Court, 216 Cal. App. 4th 1302 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013) is on hold, at least for now. Last week, the California Supreme Court indicated it would...more

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