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Recognizing a split of Court of Appeal decisions on the issue, this decision holds that when the plaintiff does not deny that the arbitration agreement bears his handwritten signature, his declaration stating that he doesn't recall signing the document does not create a factual dispute about the signature's authenticity.  See  Iyere v. Wise Auto Group (2023) 87 Cal.App.5th 747, 757-758,… Read More

This decision affirms an order denying enforcement of the arbitration clause in USC's employment contract on the ground that it is unconscionable in applying to any dispute (whether or not arising from the employment relationship), in being of perpetual duration (providing that it continued in effect after termination of employment unless both parties agreed otherwise), and lacking mutuality in requiring… Read More

Courts, not arbitrators, must decide which of two contracts between the same parties--one with, the other without an arbitration clause--governs a particular dispute.  This is true even when the arbitration clause in the one contract containing it has a strong delegation clause, leaving to the arbitrator all arbitrability questions.  Here, Coinbase had a basic customer agreement with an arbitration clause… Read More

When  an employer modifies its employment policy to require employees to arbitrate their disputes and clearly communicates to employees that continued employment will constitute assent to an arbitration agreement, the employees will generally be bound by the agreement if they continue to work for the employer.  However, that is not true if, as in this case, an employee promptly rejects… Read More

Following Belyea v. GreenSky, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2022) 637 F.Supp.3d 745, 756, this decision holds that the FAA preempts CCP 1281.97 (which requires a finding of material breach and waiver of arbitration if the party compelling arbitration doesn't pay arbitration fees within 30 days) because that section treats arbitration agreements and performance under them less favorably than other types of… Read More

Even when an arbitration agreement contains a broad delegation clause, the court must first determine whether the parties entered into the arbitration agreement.  Plaintiff who challenges the authenticity of his signature on the arbitration agreement needn't prove it is not authentic but must submit sufficient facts to create a disputed issue of fact, thus shifting the burden back to the… Read More

The FAA (9 USC 3) requires a district court to stay pending court proceedings, if a party so requests, when the court compels arbitration.  Stay rather than dismissal retains court jurisdiction to aid the parties, if need be, during the arbitration and prevents interlocutory appeal of the order compelling arbitration, as Congress intended. Read More

Disagreeing with Avila v. Southern California Specialty Care, Inc. (2018) 20 Cal.App.5th 835 and following Ruiz v. Podolsky (2010) 50 Cal.4th 838, this decision holds that a medical provider's arbitration provision that complies with CCP 1295 requires the patient's survivors (who didn't sign the arbitration clause) to arbitrate their wrongful death claim based on negligent acts of a health care… Read More

Macy's 2012 employment agreement contained an arbitration clause that waived the right to bring class or collective actions and otherwise demonstrated the two-party nature of the disputes to be arbitrated.  This decision interprets the clause to require arbitration of the employee's individual PAGA claims, but not his non-individual PAGA claims.  The non-individual PAGA claims can't be dismissed, port-Adolph.  Instead, since… Read More

A district court order compelling arbitration of all of plaintiff's claims, including non-individual PAGA claims, and denying, as moot, plaintiff's request for a stay of proceedings on any non-arbitrable claims was a final decision with respect to arbitration and thus a final order appealable under 9 USC 16(a)(3). Read More

Defendant twice failed to pay arbitration fees within 30 days after they became due.  Once it timely paid all but $250 of the billed arbitration fees, contending that the remaining $250 was plaintiff's to pay as an initial arbitration fee.  But plaintiff had already paid $250, so another payment of that sum would exceed the arbitration agreement's $400 limit on… Read More

Defendant's arbitration agreement required arbitration of all claims and limited the arbitrator's ability to award a public injunction by stating that relief could be awarded only in favor of the individual party seeking relief.  That limitation was unenforcable under McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2017) 2 Cal.5th 945, but though unenforceable, the limitation was not unconscionable.  See Poublon v. C.H. Robinson… Read More

A health care plan given as an employment benefit pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement contained an enrollment form that complied with Health & Safety Code 1363.1's requirement that immediately before the employee signature there appear a disclosue of the fact that the plan requires arbitration and that the enrollee waives the right to trial by jury.  The plan also… Read More

Defendant waived delegation clause issue.  While the petition to compel arbitration mentioned the clause, defendant did not argue in the trial court that the issue of whether the arbitration agreement met Health & Safety Code 1363.1 requirements was to be decided by the arbitrator rather than the court. Read More

Following Ajamian v. CantorCO2e, LP (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 771 and other cases, this decision holds that an arbitration clause saying that the arbitration will proceed under AAA rules is not a sufficiently clear delegation of arbitrability to effectively delegate that issue to the arbitrator if the non-drafting party is an unsophisticated employee of the drafter.  Also, even a clearer delegation… Read More

Even if an employee signed an arbitration agreement with the employer, the employee can avoid arbitrating a PAGA claim by simply not bringing one on her own behalf.  The employee has standing to sue on PAGA claims on behalf of other employees so long as she was an employee and was subjected to at least one of the Labor Code… Read More

Defendant waived the right to compel arbitration of individual PAGA claims by plaintiff and class members.  Even if the defendant got a second chance to compel arbitration when the US Supreme Court decided Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 596 U.S. 639 and 24 class members signed arbitration agreements with defendant in 2022, it waited nearly a year (and… Read More

Following Brock v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1790 and not Preston v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1981) 126 Cal.App.3d 402, this decision holds that once a trial court grants a motion to compel arbitration, it retains only vestigial jurisdiction which does not extend to making any substantive rulings on the parties' claims or defenses.  Hence, the trial court lacks… Read More

FAA section 2's exception for contracts of employment for workers in interstate commerce does not apply to or exempt business entities or commercial contracts from the FAA even if they are engaged in interstate commerce.  Plaintiff was a sophisticated business.  So delegation of arbitrability questions to the arbitrator in accordance with the chosen AAA Rules was not unconscionable.  Accordingly, it… Read More

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