August 23, 2013

Summary of August 21, 2013 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

Vargas v. SAI Monrovia B., S212033—Review Granted and Held—August 21, 2013

A car buyer brought a putative class action against a dealer, alleging violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), the Automobile Sales Finance Act, the Unfair Competition Law (UCL), the Song–Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and the California Tire Recycling Act. The dealer filed motions to compel arbitration and to strike the class allegations in the complaint. The trial court held the parties’ Agreement was not unconscionable and that the arbitration clause was enforceable. Reversing, the Court of Appeal held the arbitration clause in the Agreement was procedurally and substantively unconscionable. It remanded with instructions to enter a new order denying the motion to compel arbitration and the motion to strike the class allegations.

The Supreme Court granted review but ordered briefing deferred pending the Court’s decision in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC, S199119. Sanchez presents the following issue: Does the Federal Arbitration Act, 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? Sanchez is fully briefed and awaiting oral argument.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)




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