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Beyond Nondiscrimination: AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion and the Further Federalization of U.S. Arbitration Law


On April 27, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court decided AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, which presented the question whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts state law that denies the enforcement of an arbitration agreement as unconscionable because the agreement bars class arbitration. The Court held that California’s version of the unconscionability doctrine, which renders consumer arbitration agreements barring classwide arbitration unconscionable, was not one of the “grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract” protected from federal preemption under the FAA.

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