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California Arbitration Ruling Seeks to Dodge Concepcion

March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 (Mountain View, CA) – Guinevere Jobson, associate in the Litigation Group with Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the Law360 article, "California Arbitration Ruling Seeks to Dodge Concepcion."

The Supreme Court's ruling last year in the AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion case overturned an existing California rule that prevented class action wavers in arbitration agreements.  However, state appeals courts in California are still narrowly interpreting this ruling a year later, handing down a number of recent decisions for plaintiffs.

In many instances, California courts are receptive to finding arbitration clauses void on the grounds of unconscionability or other substantive defenses, despite no longer being able to rely on the inclusion of a class waiver to do so, and this is particularly true in the employment contracts context, according to Guinevere Jobson of Fenwick & West LLP’s litigation practice.

“To California courts, it is still about fairness in the clause,” she said. “[These recent rulings] show that businesses, especially employers, must be careful to ensure that clauses are visible, clearly worded, balanced, or even favoring the consumer or employee, particularly with fee-shifting provisions."

Click here to read the full Law360 article.