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The FAA's exemption for contracts of employment for workers in interstate and foreign commerce applied to plaintiff who worked in a warehouse in California which served as a transhipping depot for Adidas products which arrived at the warehouse from foreign countries, were stored temporarily at the warehouse before being loaded on trucks for distribution to local retailers.  Though plaintiff transported… Read More

An arbitration administrator or arbitrator cannot extend the statutory 30 day period within which a drafting party must pay arbitration fees or forfeit its right to arbitration.  (CCP 1281.98.) The drafting party must pay within 30 days from the date that the fees initially become due.  A later invoice or other attempt to extend the deadline is ineffective.  See also… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that plaintiff could not have validly entered into a contract with an arbitration clause when the contract was 21 pages, the review period was 38 seconds and through a cell phone, and plaintiff was 81 years old with virtually no technological ability. Furthermore, plaintiff's income was limited; she was careful… Read More

Under 9 USC 9, a notice of motion to confirm an arbitration award may be served on a party resident in the forum district by the means used to serve an ordinary motion.  If the party is not a resident of the forum district, service must be by the marshall of the district in which the party resides, in the… Read More

9 USC 203 vests federal district courts with subject matter jurisdiction over motions seeking to confirm non-domestic arbitral awards.  Non-domestic arbitral awards include all arbitral awards involving at least one foreign party.  Since Gussi was a Mexican corporation, the district court had jurisdiction to hear Voltage's motion to confirm the arbitration award against Gussi. Read More

Under 9 U.S.C. 402(a), a pre-dispute arbitration agreement is not enforceable to require arbitration (or waive a class action) on a claim for sexual harassment or assault under state or federal law.  Section 402 became effective on March 3, 2022 and applies to all disputes which arise after that date.  This decision holds that a "dispute" does not arise when… Read More

After successfully moving to compel arbitration of Suarez's wage-and-hour claim, the defendant employer failed to pay its share of the initial arbitration fee.  This decision grants the employee's petition to vacate the order denying his motion to withdraw the dispute from arbitration on the ground that non-payment of the fee within 30 days of its due date was a breach… Read More

The trial court correctly denied enforcement of the employer's arbitration agreement.  The arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable both because it was an adhesion contract in the employment context and because the way it was presented to the prospective employee for electronic signature made it difficult for her to read before signing.  The agreement was substantively unconscionable in containing a confidentiality… Read More

The trial court correctly denied defendant's motion to compel arbitration despite the agreement's delegation clause because plaintiff, a minor, disaffirmed all agreements with defendant pursuant to Family Code 6710.  The disaffirmance voided not only the underlying agreement and its arbitration clause but also its delegation provision.  Plaintiff's disaffirmance of any agreement with defendant was sufficient to disaffirm the delegation clause… Read More

This decision affirms an order denying an employer's motion to compel arbitration.  The arbitration provision purported to require arbitration of all disputes, but prohibit any form of representative action.  Following Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (2023) 14 Cal.5th 1104, such a clause is unenforceable as to PAGA claims involving Labor Code violations not suffered by the individual plaintiff.  Because the… Read More

This decision affirms a trial court's denial of defendant elder care facility's motion to compel arbitration.  The arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable because the arbitration clause was buried in a lengthy document about other matters, not presented as a separate agreement or marked in any manner to draw attention to it.  Also, the plaintiff was under extreme time pressure to… Read More

If a party opposing arbitration wishes a court to decide whether a clause delegating arbitrability questions to the arbitrator is itself unenforceable for some reason, the party must mention that it is challenging the delegation provision and make specific arguments attacking the provision in its opposition to a motion to compel arbitration.  It is permissible, however, for that party to… Read More

Under the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program, employers may hire temporary foreign agricultural workers if the domestic labor market can't fill the employer's needs.  Under the program, the employer must first publicly disclosure the material terms sof employment, and then if too few domestic workers show up, the employer can hire foreigners.  This decision holds that a mandatory arbitration clause is… Read More

The trial court correctly denied Mattson's motion to compel arbitration of Applied's suit against it for violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Mattson had hired Lai away from Applied.  Lai's employment agreement with Applied contained an arbitration clause.  Mattson was not a party to that contract and could not enforce it on a equitable estoppel basis since Applied's claim… Read More

Following Law Finance Group, LLC v. Key (2023) 14 Cal.5th 932, this decision holds that the 100-day limit on petitioning to vacate a Mandatory Attorney Fee Arbitration award is subject to equitable estoppel and equitable tolling.  It also holds that unless there is already an action pending between the parties, the petition must be served in same manner as a… Read More

This decision vacates an arbitration award for misconduct by the arbitrator in discrediting the defendant's primary witness' testimony because she askeds for an interpreter during the arbitration though she had been in the US and conducted sophisticated business dealings here for decades.  The arbitrator’s credibility finding rested on unacceptable misconceptions about English proficiency and language acquisition and gave rise to… Read More

Following both Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 142 S.Ct. 1906 and Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (2023) 14 Cal.5th 1104, this decision holds that the plaintiff must arbitrate PAGA claims that arise from Labor Code violations that affected him, but may pursue in court PAGA claims that arise from Labor Code violations affecting only other employees, not himself. Read More

In a single document titled only "order," the district court denied defendant's motion to dismiss as well as its motion to compel arbitration.  This decision holds that while the order denying the motion to compel arbitration is appealable (9 USC 16(a)), the order on the motion to dismiss was not appealable and did not become so by being joined in… Read More

The district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff's claim that defendant discriminated against her in denying her a consolidation loan to combine her two existing student loans.  Defendant was judicially estopped from relying on the arbitration clause in the second loan because at an earlier hearing on whether that clause was unconscionable, defendant… Read More

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