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Friday, June 22, 2012

Sanchez v. Valencia Holdings: Cal. Supreme Court Grants Review, Will Determine Whether Federal Law Preempts Unconscionability Analysis of Arbitration Agreement

On March 21, the California Supreme Court granted review in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co. LLC (Case No. S199119) (discussed here).  The vote was unanimous. Sanchez presents the following issue:
Does the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. section 2), as interpreted in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U. S. __, 131 S.Ct. 1740, preempt state law rules invalidating mandatory arbitration provisions in a consumer contract as procedurally and substantively unconscionable?
Interesting. The Court already has Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno on its docket awaiting oral argument after remand from the United States Supreme Court. Is the identification of Sanchez as a consumer case intended to signal that the Court will analyze consumer and employment cases differently? Does it signal that Moreno will not resolve all of the issues that some believe it will resolve (e.g., overturning Armendariz and Gentry)? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The Supreme Court's web page is here. I have added it to our watch list.

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