Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams

279 F.3d 889 (2002)

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Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
279 F.3d 889 (2002)

Facts

In 1995, Saint Clair Adams (plaintiff) worked as a salesman for Circuit City Stores, Inc. (Circuit City) (defendant) in California. Adams’s employment contract with Circuit City contained an arbitration clause. Circuit City drafted the arbitration clause and required employees to agree to it. The clause required employees to arbitrate claims against Circuit City but did not require Circuit City to arbitrate claims against employees. The clause also required employees to split the arbitrator’s fee with Circuit City. Adams sued Circuit City for employment discrimination in California state court. Circuit City filed suit in federal district court, seeking to enjoin Adams’s state suit. Additionally, Circuit City sought to compel arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1–2. The district court found that Adams was subject to his contract’s arbitration clause and that he could not pursue his claims in state court. The court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals, finding that Adams was required to pursue his employment-discrimination claim in arbitration. On remand, Adams argued that the arbitration clause was an unconscionable adhesion contract and thus invalid.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)

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