May 3, 2013

Summary of May 1, 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, May 1, 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

Natalini v. Import Motors, S209324—Review Granted and Held—May 1, 2013

The question presented is whether AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 1740 broadly restricts the application of the common law doctrine of unconscionability to arbitration clauses. The Court of Appeal, First District, Division Five, held in a published decision, Natalini v. Import Motors, Inc. (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 587, that an arbitration clause in a car dealer’s sales contract was procedurally and substantively unconscionable, noting that Concepcion did not overthrow the contract defense of unconscionability whenever an arbitration clause is at issue.

The Supreme Court ordered further action deferred pending consideration and disposition of a related issue in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC, S199119: 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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