Articles

A California arbitration decision stands

June 09, 2014 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

The California Supreme Court gained a little ground today in its perpetual tug-of-war with the United States Supreme Court over the enforcement of contracts containing arbitration provisions. The California court doesn’t like arbitration and creatively finds all sorts of reasons to avoid enforcing contracts that call for arbitral resolution o ...

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Half a loaf in California's latest arbitration decision

June 23, 2014 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

After decades of anti-arbitration decisions reversed by the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court today, in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, bowed to the inevitable and acknowledged it could no longer place obstacles to the enforcement of employment contracts that require employees to arbitrate their workplace di ...

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Supreme Court rejects New Jersey arbitration case

June 08, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

New Jersey courts, along with those of California and Massachusetts, continually exhibit hostility to the freedom of contract, when that freedom is expressed in a contract to arbitrate consumer or employment disputes. Today, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in U.S. Legal Services Group v. Atalese, a New Jersey Supreme Court decision requiring ar ...

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Have California courts got the message? Arbitration contracts should be enforced like other contracts

August 03, 2015 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

For years, PLF has been chronicling—and combating—the efforts of California courts to nullify arbitration contracts. Federal law requires that states enforce arbitration agreements just like any other contract, but California courts have found various loopholes to avoid enforcing such agreements, largely because they regard arbitration as basic ...

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Eliminating California's obstacles to freedom of contract

December 02, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Supreme Court briefing is now underway in one of this Term’s major arbitration cases: MHN Government Services, Inc. v. Zaborowski. The case will determine whether the California Supreme Court’s severability rule—used almost exclusively to invalidate arbitration contracts—will survive scrutiny under the Federal Arbitration Act. The N ...

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Can Californians arbitrate claims for public injunctive relief?

January 22, 2016 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Sharon McGill sued Citibank under California’s consumer protection laws for alleged unfair competition and false advertising in offering a credit insurance plan she purchased to protect her Citibank credit card account.  McGill signed a contract that contained an arbitration provision and allowed her to opt-out if she chose not to accept tha ...

Articles

Weekly litigation report — June 17, 2016

June 17, 2016 | By JAMES BURLING

Property rights — limits on the public trust doctrine The Washington state court of appeals issued this opinion on the “public trust doctrine” in Chelan Basin Conservancy v. GBI Holdings.  The facts here involved a lake that had been raised 21 feet by a dam in the 1920s. GBI owned several acres of land that periodically flooded ...

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California Supreme Court’s latest slippery evasion of federal arbitration law

April 06, 2017 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Sharon McGill sued Citibank under California’s consumer protection laws for alleged unfair competition and false advertising in offering a credit insurance plan she purchased to protect her Citibank credit card account. McGill signed a contract that contained an arbitration provision and twice was offered the opportunity to opt-out of the arb ...

Articles

Ex-Bloomingdale’s employee prefers forum shopping

April 07, 2017 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

When the California Supreme Court invalidated yet another arbitration contract in yesterday’s McGill v. Citibank decision, I explained that a cert petition would almost certainly follow. PLF has supported many, many cert petitions challenging California’s anti-arbitration rules because we believe that competent adults have the freedom t ...