April 3, 2013

Law360 covers the Sonic-Calabasas oral argument

Law360 has issued this article regarding this morning’s oral argument in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, S174475. Sonic-Calabasas presents the Court with its first opportunity to assess the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion on several prior California decisions that have held arbitration agreements unenforceable in the employment context. We have previously discussed this important case here and here. [Full disclosure: Horvitz & Levy partner Felix Shafir presented oral argument on behalf of amicus curiae the California New Car Dealers Association.]

UPDATE: The April 4 issue of the Daily Journal [subscription required] contains an excellent account of the Sonic-Calabasas oral argument, written by Emily Green. Green’s take is that the Court “appeared ready . . . to scrap” its previous opinion, which the U.S. Supreme Court vacated in 2011. But, she adds, the Court appeared “equally hesitant to articulate a new broad principle.” “The closest they came,” she observes, “was to suggest that the rights currently afforded employees in wage disputes before the state’s Labor Commission—known as a Berman hearing—could instead be incorporated into arbitration proceedings.”


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