SAN FRANCISCO, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneyz.com announces a major California Superior Court victory for Attorney Stephen Noel Ilg of San Francisco. After multiple oral arguments and seven submitted briefs, Attorney Stephen Noel Ilg, at the time a second-year associate with the Oakland law firm of Scott Cole & Associates, defeated a Motion to Compel Arbitration based on a California common law rule of contract interpretation effectively freezing the state of the law at the time a contract is signed.
In the matter argued by Mr. Ilg and his firm, Thomas Allen v. 99 Cents Only Stores, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC457737), Mr. Ilg, a 2010 graduate of the NYU School of Law, was representing employees of 99 Cent Only Stores asserting various wage and hour claims. The company filed a motion to dismiss the entire class action and force the lead plaintiff out of court and into private arbitration. The company's primary argument was that an earlier U.S. Supreme Court ruling in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011) overruled other plaintiff-friendly cases on which plaintiffs' counsel were likely to rely.
Mr. Ilg successfully argued that although the Court believed Gentry and similar cases were no longer valid law under Concepcion, plaintiffs could nonetheless rely on them based on a somewhat obscure principle of contract interpretation holding that an agreement explicitly governed by California law should be interpreted in light of the law in effect at the time the agreement was signed. On this basis, Mr. Ilg persuaded the Court that Concepcion was inapplicable to the lead plaintiff who had signed his arbitration agreement prior to the Concepcion opinion. The Court thus ruled in favor the right of the class to proceed with their lawsuit as a group in court, instead of compelling a single individual into arbitration.
This important ruling potentially clears the way for innumerable plaintiffs—including employees and anyone subject to a California-governed arbitration agreement executed before Concepcion—to maintain class actions in court, despite more recent employer-friendly case law.
Attorneyz.com is a California-based consulting firm providing Internet marketing solutions to U.S. attorneys and law firms. For further information, contact Michael Lubofsky, Esq., Founder of Attorneyz.com at (415) 508-6263 or visit them online at www.Attorneyz.com.