California Supreme Court Denies Review in Brown v. Ralphs

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In a major victory for the wage-and-hour plaintiffs’ bar, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for review in Brown v. Ralphs, 197 Cal. App. 4th 489 (2011) on Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Brown is widely cited as one of the most significant decisions interpreting the United States Supreme Court’s AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion decision. In Brown, the Court of Appeal held that Concepcion is inapplicable to claims brought pursuant to PAGA, the California Labor Code’s Private Attorneys General Act. The Brown opinion has been relied upon in both state and federal courts to circumscribe the reach of Concepcion. See, e.g., Urbino v. Orkin Servs. of Cal., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114746 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 5, 2011). By removing the possibility of Supreme Court reversal of Brown v. Ralphs, the denial of review is expected to solidify the Court of Appeal’s holding and inform the interpretation of Concepcion beyond PAGA.