The trial court erred in not compelling arbitration of plaintiff’s claims under the Bane and Ralph Acts (Civ. Code 51.7, 52.1) along with the rest of plaintiff’s claims.  Following DirecTV, Inc. v. Imburgia (2015) 136 S.Ct. 463, the decision holds that by providing their arbitration agreement was governed by the FAA and “applicable state law,” the parties did not incorporate portions of California state law that are preempted by the FAA, but only valid applicable state law.  Also, it did not matter that no judicial opinion had yet declared the FAA preempts the Bane and Ralph Acts’ provisions requiring a party seeking to enforce any waiver of a party’s right to sue in court to prove the waiver was knowing and voluntary and not made as a condition of providing or receiving goods or services.  Those provisions are, in fact, preempted by the FAA as they are special conditions imposed on arbitration clauses in particular and not contracts generally.  Further, their legislative history shows they were enacted for the express purpose of making arbitration of Bane and Ralph Act claims more difficult.  None of plaintiff’s efforts to avoid preemption had merit.  Consequently, defendant did not have to show compliance with the Bane and Ralph Act’s special procedures for validation of arbitration agreements and was entitled to an order compelling arbitration of plaintiff’s claims under those acts.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Bigelow, P.J.; Rubin, J., dissenting); March 14, 2018; 2018 WL 1312501