Friday, December 18, 2015

Where the Heck Is Wn.?

Brinkley v. Monterrey Fin. Servs., Inc., No. D066059 (D4d1 Nov. 19, 2015)

This is a really long opinion that largely affirms an order dismissing Plaintiff’s class claims and ordering her to arbitrate individually. Under Washington State law. Nothing too much to see here, although it is interesting that the unconscionsablity standard in Washington state requires either procedural or substantive unconscionability, not both like in California. That results in a provision in the agreement about arbitration costs being unenforceable. But the court finds the provision to be severable and not to preclude arbitration altogether. And because the agreement specifically delegated to the arbitrator to determine whether class treatment was appropriate, the trial court erred by dismissing the class claims. Instead, it should have just sent the whole shebang to arbitration for the arbitrator to sort out.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part.

There are a trove of citations to Washington State authorities in this opinion, which all abbreviate the state “Wn.” I have never seen the Evergreen State referred to as Wn. And I used to live in Seattle. The Postal Service says WA, the Bluebook says Wa., and AP and a few other older styles say Wash. Since only one state starts with W-A, while two start with W and end with N, Wn. seems like a particularly poor choice for an abbreviation. Which is probably why nobody else ever thought to use Wn. to mean Washington State. Except Bernie Witkin and his unwieldy little yellow book.

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