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Arbitration Clause

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Defendant residential care facility's arbitration clause was procedurally unconscionable as (i) it was a contract of adhesion, (ii) it incorporated the AAA rules but no copy of them was provided, and (iii) the facility required a patient undergoing an acute psychotic incident, who could not concentrate for more than 10-20 seconds to sign the clause.  The clause was substantively unconscionable… Read More

Following Ajamian v. CantorCO2e, LP (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 771, this decision holds that an arbitration clause calling for the arbitration of "any dispute" arising in connection with a contract does not "clearly and unmistakably" call for the arbitrator rather than a court to decide issues of arbitrability.  A provision calling for arbitration in accordance with AAA rules which themselves grant… Read More

Employer's arbitration clause was unenforceable because it was unconscionable.  The clause was a mandatory, non-negotiable requirement of employment.  It was procedurally unconscionable because it was given to plaintiff only in English, which he cannot read, and without a schedule of the arbitration fees he could be charged.  It was substantively unconscionable because it allowed the arbitrator to shift attorney fees… Read More

The trial court properly denied a residential care facility's motion to compel arbitration.  The facility's arbitration agreement was signed by the admitted resident's son, not the resident.  The resident was not mentally incompetent at the time of admission, and he had not designated his son his attorney in fact, or agent.  The resident didn't ratify the arbitration agreement by not… Read More

An employee did not agree to the employer's arbitration policy that was stated only in an employee handbook which the employee acknowledged receiving but did not sign anything agreeing to the employer's policies, particularly as the acknowledgement of receipt of the handbook didn't reference arbitration and the handbook itself said it was not an agreement.  The fact that the handbook… Read More

By failing to raise, in its opening memo on the motion to compel arbitration, the fact that the arbitration agreement contained a delegation clause that provided for the arbitrator to decide arbitrability issues, the defendant waived its right to rely on the delegation clause, and the court properly decided the arbitrability issues.  Waiting to raise delegation until the reply memo… Read More

Following Ahlstrom v. DHI Mortgage, Inc. (9th Cir. 2021) 21 F.4th 631, this decision holds that the court must always decide whether the party opposing arbitration entered into the agreement containing the arbitration clause.  That issue cannot be delegated to the arbitrator because the delegation clause itself is invalid if the opposing party didn't enter into the agreement containing it. Read More

The parties' arbitration provision said that "except for claims seeking injunctive or other equitable relief," the parties agreed to arbitrate any dispute between them.  Plaintiff filed suit including among others claims for specific performance, rescission, and violation of the UCL.  This decision holds that all of those claims are equitable or seek equitable relief and thus are not arbitrable under… Read More

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