January 15, 2010

Arbitration Case Accepted by the Supreme Court

By Arbitration Case Accepted by the Supreme Court

Today, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Jackson v. Rent-a-Center West, Inc. In that case, an employee of Rent-a-Center challenged the arbitration provision of his employment contract as unconscionable, and further challenged the portion of the contract that provides that an arbitrator should determine whether the arbitration agreement itself is invalid. The Ninth Circuit ruled for the employee and created a blanket rule that only courts possess the authority under the FAA to determine whether an arbitration agreement is unconscionable, even where the contract clearly and explicitly assigns that determination to the arbitrator.

Said PLF Principal Attorney Deborah J. La Fetra: "This blanket rule undermines the federal policy in favor of the enforcement of arbitration agreements as written and is contrary to US Supreme Court rulings."

La Fetra authored PLF 's amicus brief supporting Rent-a-Center’s petition to the High Court.   She will also write the brief that PLF will file now that the Court has agreed to consider the case on the merits.

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