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Under CCP 1281.91 and the Ethical Standards for Neutral Arbitrators, an arbitrator must disclose pending and prior arbitrations (during the previous 5 years) involving the parties to a dispute referred to him.  The arbitrator must also disclose the results in the prior cases.  However, this decision holds that the arbitrator need not disclose the results in pending cases as those… Read More

In this case, plaintiff obtained a UIM arbitration award for the entire $1 million umbrella policy limit due to emotional distress plaintiff suffered from seeing the underinsured motorist hit her mother who was crossing the street with her.  Before the arbitration award, plaintiff made a 998 offer for a penny less than the umbrella policy limits, which the insurer refused. … Read More

Disagreeing with Davis v. TWC Dealer Group, Inc. (2019) 41 Cal.App.5th 662, this decision holding that the arbitration provision in Nissan dealerships' standard employment agreement is not unconscionable.  Though having a high degree of procedural unconscionability due to small print size and lengthy, obscure language, the clause is not substantively unconscionable.  Small print size and obtuse phrasing relate to procedural… Read More

The district court correctly denied Amazon's motion to compel arbitration of a claim by its Flex drivers that Amazon violated state and federal privacy laws by monitoring and wiretapping the drivers’ conversations when they communicated during off hours in closed Facebook groups.  To be arbitrable under Amazon's terms of service, the claim had to arise from or involve the Flex… Read More

Under CCP 1281.9(a)(2), a neutral arbitrator must make disclosures to the parties to an arbitration as required by the Ethics Standards for Neutral Arbitrators in Contractual Arbitration.  Here, the arbitrator did so, and also disclosed that he would accept employment in other disputes as an arbitrator without informing the parties.  In a non-consumer arbitration, the arbitrator is allowed to make… Read More

Although the FAA (9 USC 3) appears to require a district court to stay pending court proceedings when it compels arbitration, binding 9th Circuit precedent holds that, instead, a district court may dismiss the litigation if it compels arbitration of all claims raised in the case.  See Johnmohammadi v. Bloomingdale’s,Inc., 755 F.3d 1072, 1074 (9th Cir. 2014).  The two-judge concurrence… Read More

Following Roldan v. Callahan & Blaine (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 87, this decision affirms an order denying arbitration after the defendant refused to pay all arbitration costs.  Substantial evidence supported the trial court's finding that Daniel Hang was indigent when he died while in defendant's care.  His son brought suit for elder abuse and negligent hiring and supervision as Hang's successor-in-interest. … Read More

Reaching the same result as Galarsa v. Dolgen California, LLC (2023) 2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 129, this decision holds that plaintiff's individual PAGA claims (i.e., those which are based on Lab. Code violations affecting the plaintiff) must be arbitrated.  However, representative PAGA claims based on Lab. Code violations affecting only employees other than the plaintiff are not subject to arbitration,… Read More

Following Ajamian v. CantorCO2e, LP (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 771, this decision holds that an arbitration clause that merely calls for arbitration of all disputes arising under the agreement but does not specifically mention disputes about arbitrability issues fails to meet the "clear and unmistakable" standard for delegation of arbitrability questions to the arbitrator.  It also follows Ajamian in folding that… Read More

The district court properly enforced defendant’s arbitration clause.  The online terms of use adequately identified defendant as a party to the agreement by referring to its dba.  The terms of use were presented on the website in a manner that was between click wrap and browse wrap but adequately informed the user of the terms' existence and availability for review… Read More

Post-Morgan v. Sundance, prejudice to the plaintiff is no longer a factor to be considered in determining whether a defendant waived arbitration by litigating a dispute in court.  The burden of proving waiver is no longer heavy either.  The plaintiff need only show (1) the defendant's knowledge of an existing right to compel arbitration and (2) intentional acts inconsistent with… Read More

Vandenberg v. Superior Court (1999) 21 Cal.4th 815 nixes only nonmutual collateral estoppel from an arbitration award.  Here, the same parties to the arbitration award, or individuals in privity with them, raised the same issues that the arbitrator had adjudicated, in court in connection with a post-confirmation (and post appeal from the confirmation) motion to amend the judgment to add… Read More

The trial court abused its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion to amend the judgment (which confirmed an arbitration award in plaintiff's favor against two LLCs) to add two individual defendants as the LLCs' alter egos.  Two elements are needed to prove alter ego statues:  unity of interest and ownership and inequity resulting from treating the acts of the corporate entities… Read More

This split decision holds that under Morgan v. Sundance, Inc. (2022) 142 S.Ct. 1708, an employer waived the right to compel arbitration against class member employees who signed a 2002 arbitration agreement even though they became parties to the lawsuit only late in the case when a class was certified.  Though the named plaintiff had not signed the arbitration agreement,… Read More

Disagreeing with Gavriiloglou v. Prime Healthcare Management, Inc. (2022) 83 Cal.App.5th 595, this decision holds that an arbitrator's award finding that the employer did not violate the Labor Code as the employee alleged in his individual wage and hour claims operates as collateral estoppel, barring the employee's PAGA claims based on the same alleged violations, for lack of standing. )… Read More

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