AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion

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AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion is a 2011 case decided by the United States Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempted California law requiring class actions to be available in consumer contracts.

The decision by the Court reviewed the background of the FAA:

The FAA was enacted in 1925 in response to widespread judicial hostility to arbitration agreements. See Hall Street Associates, L. L. C. v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S. 576, 581, 128 S. Ct. 1396, 170 L. Ed. 2d 254 (2008). Section 2, the “primary substantive provision of the Act,” Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24, 103 S. Ct. 927, 74 L. Ed. 2d 765 (1983), provides, in relevant part, as follows:
“A written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction ... shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2.
We have described this provision as reflecting both a “liberal federal policy favoring arbitration,” Moses H. Cone, supra, at 24, 103 S. Ct. 927, 74 L. Ed. 2d 765, and the “fundamental principle that arbitration is a matter of contract,” Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson, 561 U.S. 63, 67, 130 S. Ct. 2772, 2776, 177 L. Ed. 2d 403, 410 (2010). In line with these principles, courts must place arbitration agreements on an equal footing with other contracts, Buckeye Check Cashing, Inc. v. Cardegna, 546 U.S. 440, 443, 126 S. Ct. 1204, 163 L. Ed. 2d 1038 (2006), and enforce them according to their terms, Volt Information Sciences, Inc. v. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior Univ., 489 U.S. 468, 478, 109 S. Ct. 1248, 103 L. Ed. 2d 488 (1989).

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333, 339 (2011).