In our last post, we discussed a San Francisco federal court's decision to invalidate Uber's arbitration agreement with its driver on the ground that the delegation provision was ambiguous, not "clear and unmistakeable," based on an apparent conflict with the provision establishing venue in California courts.
The rationale of that decision was recently rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. [Yes, I know, it has been a long time since we've posted on this blog. We've been busy.] The case is Mohamed v. Uber Technologies Inc., 15-16178, and Gillette v. Uber Technologies Inc. 15-1618. The appeals court held that the conflict identified by the district court judge -- i.e. the inconsistency between the arbitration clause's delegation provision and the venue clause -- was 'artificial,' as the venue provision and the arbitration provision were not inconsistent, the venue provision simply applying to actions in court to enforce the arbitration provision or confirm an arbitration award, and to actions that the arbitration provision did not govern.
This is a victory for Uber and a blow to the several class actions pending against it. We are watching this litigation closely as well as the litigation between Uber and certain Lyft drivers [in which Uber was not as successful in applying its arbitration provision]. Stay tuned.