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Mortensen v. Bresnan, CV-10-13-BLG-RFC (D.Mt.; May 27, 2011)

Mortensen v. Bresnan, CV-10-13-BLG-RFC (D.Mt.; May 27, 2011)

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Defendant moves to reconsider court's ruling denying motion to compel arbitration on the basis of the Supreme Court's ruling in AT&T v. Concepcion.
Defendant moves to reconsider court's ruling denying motion to compel arbitration on the basis of the Supreme Court's ruling in AT&T v. Concepcion.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Jun 04, 2011
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W. Scott MitchellMichael P. ManningHolland & Hart
 401 North 31st Street, Suite 1500P.O. Box 639Billings, MT 59103-0639Phone: (406) 252-2166Fax: (406) 252-1669smitchell@hollandhart.commpmanning@hollandhart.comJohn D. Seiver (
 pro hac vice
Adam S. Caldwell (
 pro hac vice
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP1919 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.Washington D.C. 20006Telephone: (202) 973-4200Facsimile: (202) 973-4499 johnseiver@dwt.comATTORNEYS FOR THE DEFENDANTIN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANABILLINGS DIVISIONDALE MORTENSEN and MELISSA BECKER, )individually, and on behalf of themselves and )all others similar situated, ) No. CV-10-13-BLG-RFC)Plaintiffs, ))
Case 1:10-cv-00013-RFC Document 34 Filed 05/27/11 Page 1 of 9
Defendant Bresnan Communications, LLC (“Bresnan”), pursuant to LocalRule 7.3, hereby requests leave to file a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’sOrder denying Bresnan’s Motion to Compel Arbitration (D.E. # 29). Pursuant toLocal Rule 7.1(c)(1), counsel for Plaintiffs has been contacted, and has indicatedthat he opposes this motion.Bresnan acknowledges that reconsideration is generally disfavored by thisCourt. However, in enforcing an arbitration clause in a consumer contract, theU.S. Supreme Court limited the circumstances in which courts can rely on statelaw unconscionability doctrines, as this Court did when it denied Bresnan’s Motionto Compel Arbitration, to invalidate agreements to arbitrate disputes. Accordingly,reconsideration is wholly justified. Moreover, allowing Bresnan to file its motionwill promote a timely and efficient resolution of this matter and, in light of theJuly 19, 2011, pretrial conference, would not be prejudicial.
 AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion
, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (Apr. 27, 2011)
(Exhibit A), the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the circumstances under which theFederal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts state contract law doctrines of generalapplicability, such as unconscionability, in determining whether to enforcearbitration clauses. In reversing a decision by the Ninth Circuit, the SupremeCourt recognized that it had not always been clear that the FAA may preempt “a
Case 1:10-cv-00013-RFC Document 34 Filed 05/27/11 Page 2 of 9
doctrine normally thought to be generally applicable [to all contracts], such as . . .unconscionability [if that doctrine] is alleged to have been applied in a fashion thatdisfavors arbitration.
. at 1747. The Supreme Court held for the first time thatthe FAA preempts state contract law doctrine of general applicability, such asunconscionability, when its application disproportionately affects arbitrationagreements or interferes with the fundamental attributes of arbitration.The holding in
is most significant. In denying Bresnan’sMotion to Compel Arbitration here, this Court held that the arbitration provision inBresnan’s Agreement with Plaintiffs was unconscionable. Because the Court’sOrder relied upon a doctrine that the Supreme Court has now significantly limited,the Court should allow reconsideration under Local Civil Rule 7.3(b)(2)(authorizing a motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration when “newmaterial facts emerged or a change of law occurred after entry of the order”).
If the Court grants Bresnan’s Motion, it would join a number of other courts thatare reconsidering prior orders denying arbitration and reevaluating theirunconscionability analyses in light of 
See In re Checking Account Overdraft Litig.
, No. 10-12376, 2011 WL 1663989 (11th Cir. Apr. 29, 2011)(vacating district court order denying arbitration and remanding for reconsiderationin light of 
 Arellano v. T-Mobile USA, Inc.
, No. C 10-05663 WHA,2011 WL 1842712, at *1, 2 (N.D. Cal. May 16, 2011) (applying
tohold that “states cannot refuse to enforce arbitration agreements based on publicpolicy” in context of consumer contract for communications services);
 Zarandi v. Alliance Data Sys. Corp.
, No. CV-10-8390 DSF (JCGx), 2011 WL 1827228, at *2(C.D. Cal. May 9, 2011) (applying
to enforce arbitration provision inconsumer contract).
Case 1:10-cv-00013-RFC Document 34 Filed 05/27/11 Page 3 of 9

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