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Carmax v. Fowler

Topic(s): Arbitration
Docket: 13-439



In this case, a California intermediate appellate court held that the California Supreme Court’s decision in Gentry v. Superior Court, which holds that an arbitration clause with a class action ban is unenforceable when it would have the effect of waiving substantive rights under California wage and hour laws, remains valid in the wake of the US. Supreme Court’s ruling in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The court remanded for a determination of whether the plaintiff could establish that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable under that standard. The defendant sought review in the California Supreme Court, where the issue of Gentry’s survival was pending in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation of Los Angeles. The California Supreme Court denied review, undoubtedly because of the non-final nature of the intermediate court’s ruling. The defendants sought review in the U.S. Supreme Court. PCLG was cocounsel for the plaintiffs/respondents in the Supreme Court, and filed a brief in opposition explaining that in view of the posture of the case and the pendency of the same issue in Iskanian the case did not merit review in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated, and remanded in light of its decision in Concepcion.

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