The California Supreme Court will soon determine the applicable scope of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion vis-à-vis the state’s longstanding unconscionability doctrine, as the court has granted a petition for review of the Second Appellate District’s ruling in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC (___ Cal. App. 4th ___ (2012) (available here)). The Iskanian court rejected Brown v. Ralphs (197 Cal. App. 4th 489 (2011)), which held PAGA claims to be outside the ambit of Concepcion, and also took the position that the California Supreme Court’s decision in Gentry v. Super. Ct. (42 Cal. 4th 443 (2007)) was overruled by Concepcion.
The Supreme Court’s review of Iskanian is expected to produce the definitive ruling on the post¬Concepcion applicability of California’s arbitration and unconscionability doctrines. The court contemporaneously denied petitions for review and depublication in Hoover v. Amer. Income Life Ins. Co. (___ Cal. App. 4th ___ (2012) (available here)), in which California’s Fourth Appellate District upheld a trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to compel arbitration of classwide wage-and-hour claims. This may be an indication that the court is poised to overrule the aggressive Iskanian decision while allowing the Hoover decision to stand, a scenario sure to delight the plaintiffs’ bar.