Florida Supreme Court to determine whether an arbitration clause can be held invalid

Posted on: June 22nd, 2012 by Steve Larson
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The Florida Supreme Court held oral argument in May in a case that could test the reach of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 decision on class arbitration waivers in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

In McKenzie Check Advance of Florida v. Wendy Betts, SC11-514, the plaintiff relied on factual evidence in an attempt to prove that the lack of a class action device has made it impossible for her to obtain legal representation to pursue her claims in arbitration. 

The case thus potentially raises the question whether a case-specific finding of unconscionability, as opposed to a statewide policy invalidating class arbitration waivers more generally, is permissible despite the Court’s holding in Concepcion

Recall that the arbitration provision at issue in Concepcion contained several consumer-friendly features, which could have supported the conclusion that it did not actually deprive a consumer of any opportunity to vindicate his or her rights, although Justice Scalia’s majority opinion did not turn on the existence of these features.