Back in April, we mentioned two arbitration cases awaiting review by the U.S. Supreme Court. We were unaware, at the time, that one of the two cases had already been rejected. In IBEW, Local Union No. 21 v. Illinois Bell (7th Cir. 2007) 491 F.3d 685, the petititioners sought to reverse an opinion upholding an order to compel arbitration of a dispute over new employee performance evaluation guidelines. On March 17, 2008, the writ of certiorari was denied in Illinois Bell Tel. Co. v. IBEW, Local 21 (U.S. 2008) 128 S.Ct. 1696, 170 L.Ed. 2d 353, 2008 U.S. LEXIS 2405, 76 U.S.L.W. 3497, 183 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2992.
On May 27, the Supreme Court also denied certiorari in T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Laster (9th Cir. 2007) 252 Fed.Appx. 777 (2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 25265, 2007 WL 3194117), (S.Ct. No. 07-976, 2008 U.S. LEXIS 4492, 76 U.S.L.W. 3628) an unpublished Ninth Circuit decision. The question presented was:
Whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act, a federal court may refuse to enforce the terms of an agreement to arbitrate based upon a state-law policy that individual arbitration is unconscionable in cases involving small claims by a consumer.
The court had previously denied a similar petition for writ of certiorari taken from the California Supreme Court's decision in Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Gentry (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443, decided by the California Supreme Court.