M.C. Sungaila in Law360: Calif. Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2015

07/24/2015

Gil Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co.

After hearing oral arguments in May, the state’s top court will decide whether the U.S. Supreme Court’s AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion decision bars California standards voiding mandatory arbitration provisions in consumer contracts as procedurally and substantively unconscionable. The Concepcion ruling found that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law rules that amount to an outright ban of arbitration.

A car dealer sought review after a California state appeals court in October 2011 found that the company’s arbitration provision with a class action waiver as part of its sales contract contained one-sided terms that favored the company to the detriment of the buyer...

“There is different language defining what amounts to unconscionability, with some language calling for a higher standard, while other language calls for a lower standard,” said Mary-Christine Sungaila, a partner at Haynes and Boone LLP. “We need to have some kind of consistency in defining unconscionability.”

Attorneys are going to be watching the case closely to see whether the court shows continued skepticism in enforcing arbitration agreements, she said.

“It has been a significant case because it’s part of the debate over how much of a state law exemption can survive the FAA’s strong policy of enforcement of arbitration agreements,” she said.

Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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