Unconscionable Contracts

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Reverses Holding That Arbitration Clause In Employment Agreement Is Unconscionable

In early April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed a lower court’s holding that an arbitration clause in an employment agreement with JP Morgan was procedurally and substantively unconscionable. Because the...more

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Publishes Proposed Rule Precluding Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses

As we reported last year, in October 2015 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published an outline of proposals that would limit the use of arbitration provisions in contracts for consumer financial products. On May 5,...more

California Supreme Court Enforces Arbitration Agreement, Finding It Is Not Unconscionable

In this case, a former employee of a retail store appealed to the California Supreme Court seeking reversal of an appellate court decision which found that an arbitration agreement in her employment application was not...more

Carbajal v. HWBSC Decision Provides Guidance for Drafting Employment Arbitration Agreements

On February 26, 2016, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, issued its decision in Carbajal v. HWBSC, Inc., invalidating an employment arbitration agreement due to a number of provisions the Court considered...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Arbitration Agreements That Mutually Exclude Applications for Temporary Restraining Orders and...

On Monday, March 28, 2016, the California Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Second Appellate District holding that an arbitration agreement in an employment contract is not substantively unconscionable simply because...more

Court OKs Arbitration Agreement Permitting Injunctive Relief

Seyfarth Synopsis in a Second: A clause in an employment arbitration agreement that authorizes preliminary injunctive relief in court does not make the agreement unenforceable. As a general proposition, arbitration...more

California Supreme Court: Arbitration Agreement Restating Existing Law Is Not Unconscionable

On March 28, 2016, the California Supreme Court handed down a long-awaited opinion in Baltazar v. Forever 21. Baltazar’s most important holding is that an arbitration agreement is not unconscionable merely because it restates...more

Exhibit C For The Case That California Is No Longer Anti-Arbitration

The Supreme Court of California this week enforced the arbitration agreement between an employee and employer. Yes, you read that right. While reputed to be reliably anti-arbitration, California’s highest court continues to...more

California Supreme Court Issues Pro-Arbitration Agreement Decision

On March 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of California issued another ruling on the enforceability of arbitration agreements. In Baltazar v. Forever 21, Inc. (S208345), the court considered the enforceability of an arbitration...more

Employment Law - March 2016 #3

New EEOC Suits: Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Violates Title VII - Why it matters - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a pair of landmark lawsuits alleging sex discrimination based...more

According to the Paris Court of Appeal, the Jurisdiction Clause in Facebook’s Terms and Conditions Is Not Enforceable Against a...

References: Paris Court of Appeal, judgment rendered on 12 February 2016, docket # 15/08624 In a 12 February 2016 decision, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled that the jurisdiction clause provided for in Facebook’s general...more

Montana Finds Arbitration Agreement Unconscionable For Lack of Mutuality

March comes in like a lion, right?  Well, that’s not true with respect to the weather here in Minneapolis.  But it may be true with respect to arbitration decisions from around the country.  This post focuses on two recent...more

Does Arbitration Belong in the Nursing Home World?

As part of admission into a nursing home, a facility typically requires prospective residents to agree to binding arbitration. Arbitrating disputes generally allows nursing facilities to handle disputes without incurring the...more

Article: February 2016: Class Action Litigation Update: Supreme Court Upholds Arbitration Agreement in DIRECTV Case.

The Supreme Court recently added another decision to a growing body of law reversing state courts for refusing to enforce arbitration agreements. The decision, DIRECTV v. Imburgia, 135 S. Ct. 1547 (2015), concerned the...more

California Court Rejects Arbitration Agreement for Unconscionability

On October 27, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, in an unpublished decision, issued yet another ruling applying the unconscionability doctrine to arbitration agreements in the employment context. In Prince v. Pletcher,...more

Did the Fourth Circuit Just Create a Cause of Action for “Unconscionable Inducement” Under West Virginia Law?

In McFarland v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 14-2126 (4th Cir. Jan. 15, 2016), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals examined the argument that a loan was substantively unconscionable because it vastly exceeded the worth of the...more

Advertising Law - January 2016 #2

Uber Drives Settlement With NY AG Over Data Breach, Privacy Violations - In a pair of settlements, ride-sharing company Uber agreed to pay a $20,000 fine for failing to report a data breach in a timely manner as required...more

Uber’s Attempt To Compel Class Arbitration Rejected Due To Unconscionability Of Arbitration Agreement

The court held that a number of the provisions in the subject arbitration agreements were unconscionable, including a delegation clause providing that disputes involving the arbitration agreement be decided in arbitration....more

Indemnity Agreements: Res Gestae Atque Gerendae

Can someone be indemnified against an unlawful act? California Civil Code Section 1668 would seem to say “no”:...more

UK Supreme Court clarifies the law on penalties Cavendish Square Holding BC v Talal El Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67

The UK Supreme Court has recently clarified the English (and Scottish) law on penalties in the (joint) appeals in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi (“Cavendish”) and ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67...more

When it Comes to Arbitration Agreement Class Action Waivers, Concepcion is Still the Law, Even in California.

In 2014, we blogged about a California state appellate court decision invalidating the arbitration clause in DIRECTV’s consumer contracts. We found that California decision to be noteworthy because it seemed to fly in the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Applies Concepcion In Reversing Order Finding Class Arbitration Waiver Unconscionable Under California Law

On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court applied its landmark Concepcion decision and reversed a California appellate court’s ruling that an arbitration clause containing a class arbitration waiver was unenforceable under...more

DIRECTV v. Imburgia

Last week, in DIRECTV v. Imburgia, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision once again re-affirming the strong federal policy in favor of arbitration. At issue in this case was a service agreement entered into...more

Arbitration Wars: Supreme Court Continues To Affirm The Supremacy of the FAA

The United States Supreme Court recently reversed a decision by the California Court of Appeal wherein the state court refused to enforce a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court enforced the class...more

What the United States Supreme Court’s Decision in Direct TV v. Imburgia Means For Your Consumer Agreements and Arbitration...

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Direct TV v. Imburgia, 577 U.S. ___ (2015). This decision is important for manufacturers of consumer products because it fortifies the ability to incorporate...more

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