Purported appeal of order compelling arbitration treated as extraordinary petition; order compelling individual arbitration affirmed

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Nelsen v. Legacy Partners Residential, Inc. (filed July 18, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 9956, plaintiff Lorena Nelson worked for defendant as a property manager from 2006 to 2009. Early in her employment she received a 43-page pre-printed form employee handbook that included a small-print arbitration clause at page 42 headed “TEAM MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AGREEMENT.” […]

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Public policy considerations no longer a bar to enforcement of class action waiver in employment arbitration agreement

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) __ U.S.__ [131 S. Ct 1740] changed the legal landscape concerning class arbitrations. The United States Supreme expressly overturned the California Supreme Court ruling in Discover Bank v. Superior Court (2005) 36 Cal.4th 153, which had held that class action waivers in contracts of adhesion subject to arbitration are […]

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Insufficient showing of third-party beneficiary status to compel arbitration of claim of nonsignatory to arbitration agreement

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Epitech, Inc., v. Kann (filed April 16, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 4768), defendant Kann filed a petition to compel arbitration after a corporation’s short term creditors brought suit against defendant, a financial advisor the corporation had retained to assist it in getting long-term financing to pay its short-term debts. Suit followed the corporation going bankrupt. […]

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Arbitration clause in employment contract superseded that in earlier agreement and made wrongful termination claim not subject to arbitration

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In the morass of paperwork accompanying the start of employment, an employer may ask the employee to sign multiple documents discussing arbitration: an employee handbook, an employer alternative resolution policy statement, and/or the contract of employment may be among the many documents. Which executed document concerning arbitration controls if their content differs? This question is […]

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Parties wishing to enforce arbitration clause must take care not to forfeit right

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

El Cajon Motors Inc. was sued by one of its customers, Yaube Roberts, acting for herself and the class of other customers, for El Cajon’s allegedly backdating installment purchase contracts, failing to properly disclose finance charges, and charging illegal interest. El Cajon answered the complaint in mid-August 2009 with a general denial and 24 affirmative […]

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JLo wins right to arbitrate claim ex-husband and agent plan video disparaging her

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Long before there was Marc Anthony, there was Ojani Noa. Now that Jennifer Lopez is apparently amicably ending her 7-year marriage to Marc Anthony, the battle with her first husband, Noa continues. Lopez requested arbitration of the complaint she filed against Noa and his agent Ed Meyer regarding their collaborative attempts to produce and sell […]

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Employee handbook not a good place for an arbitration clause: ruled unenforceable as “take it or leave it”

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

We have here yet another opinion where an arbitration clause strikes out. Not surprising, in the light of the California Supreme Court “crack-down” more than a decade ago in Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83, 114. Zullo v. Superior Court (filed June 21, 2011, certified for publication July 12, 2011) […]

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Sophisticated legal client who fails to read unexplained fee arbitration clause loses challenge to motion compelling arbitration

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Client is represented by attorney under fee agreement containing no arbitration provision. Attorney changes firms and requests client to sign new fee agreement which includes arbitration clause. Client fails to read this clause. Under these circumstances, does the attorney have a fiduciary duty to explain the arbitration clause? In Desert Outdoor Advertising v. Superior Court […]

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Party’s Strategic Use of Arbitration Clause in Gaining Discovery Advantage Constitutes Unreasonable Delay and Waives Arbitration

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In a classic case of trying to “have ones cake and eat it too,” the plaintiff in Augusta v. Keene & Associates (filed March 4, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 3449 petitioned to compel arbitration where the arbitration clause included a ban on discovery. Plaintiff had filed his complaint alleging legal malpractice nine months earlier without invoking […]

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