Car Companies Trying to Escape Courts

Brian's post below mentions the recent New York Times article about automakers' efforts to avail themselves of their dealers' arbitration agreements with customers, as well as the Ninth Circuit's decision in Kramer v. Toyota rejecting one such effort.

Anyone interested in these subjects might also want to know that Toyota has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari seeking Supreme Court review of the decision in Kramer. It argues that the court should not have decided whether Toyota could invoke the arbitration agreements, but instead should have sent that threshold issue to an arbitrator. The plaintiffs have filed a brief in opposition (disclosure — I am one of the attorneys on the brief), arguing that the lower court was correct to decide the issue itself and that there is no split of authority on the point. The Supreme Court will decide at its beginning-of-term conference in late September whether to hear the case.

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