Utilizing a “sweeping reading of Concepcion,” as characterized by the concurring opinion, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that arguments that “a class action waiver, by itself, is unconscionable under state law or that an arbitration agreement is unconscionable solely because it contains a class action waiver” are expressly foreclosed by AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011). The plaintiff did not challenge the district court’s decision to compel arbitration, but rather the decision to compel arbitration on an individual basis, arguing that the relevant agreement’s class action waiver provision was unconscionable under Nevada law.
The majority stated that, while Concepcion foreclosed the plaintiff’s unconscionability argument because it was directed only at the class action waiver provision, Concepcion “does not foreclose application of state unconscionability doctrines to arbitration agreements generally.” Were the plaintiff to contend that “the entire arbitration agreement – or any aspect of it other than the class action waiver – is unconscionable,” then his argument would be viable. However, such was not the case here. , Case No. 16-15835 (9th Cir. Dec. 12, 2017).