Williams v. 3620 W. 102nd Street, Inc. (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 1087.

This was a petition to compel arbitration based on agreements in residential leases.  The court held that arbitration would not be compelled because arbitration resulted in a waiver of a procedural right in litigation, a pretrial jury waiver, which was invalid as contrary to public policy.  There have of course been cases before that identified the right to jury trial as a procedural right that could not be waived or modified prior to a dispute arising, but those had not been applied to arbitration until this case.  The court did note that this was a situation in which the Federal Arbitration Act did not apply.

Conyer v. Hula Media Services, LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 1189.  This is also an arbitration issue case with a former employee suing an employer under the FEHA.  In this case there was an employer action to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration clause that had not been in an employee handbook at the time the employee was hired but was added during his employment.  The court of appeal held that the arbitration clause was enforceable, because the employee had demonstrated his consent to the arbitration clause by signing an acknowledgment of the revised employee handbook which contained the arbitration provision.

Eisenberg Village Etc. v. Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 1201.  This was an action brought five years after the construction involved in the case alleging that the contractor had not been duly licensed at all times during performance of the construction and seeking disgorgement of the amounts paid to the contractor.  The trial court, as affirmed by the court of appeal, held that the claim was barred by the one year statute of limitations for penalties or forfeitures under CCP §340(a) and that that statute applied to disgorgement claims under Business and Professions Code §7031(d), and that the discovery rule did not apply.

Thurston v. Fairfield Collectibles of Georgia, LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 1231.  This was a motion involving personal jurisdiction with the issue being whether a Georgia company’s website was sufficient to create jurisdiction in California.  The court found that jurisdiction existed because purposeful availment was shown by the evidence that the Georgia company made enough sales to Californians through its website, from which this particular dispute arose, that it was the equivalent of a physical store in California and the company also sent a substantial number of contacts to California residents, the combination of which was sufficient to satisfy the minimum contacts rule.

Related Attorney(s):
Gregory L. McCoy