Trial court, in Avalos v. La Salsa, Inc., offers early glimpse of how California courts may reconcile Stolt-Nielsen and Gentry

Earlier today, in Avalos v. La Salsa, Inc., JCCP 4488, the Santa Barbara Superior Court, Judge Denise deBellefeuille presiding, granted the defendants’ motion for reconsideration of a class certification order in to consider the impact of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., 130 S.Ct. 1758 (2010) on the coordinated proceedings before the Court.  After an extensive analysis of Stolt-Nielsen, including its interaction with Gentry v. Superior Court, 42 Cal. 4th 443 (2007), the Court affirmed the certification order previously entered.  While the certification aspect is mildly interesting, the Court's extensive discussion of the interplay between arbitration clauses and class actions in California is the pot of gold in this unusually thorough trial court order.  While the attached opinion is a tentative ruling, the Court adopted its tentative without modification.

You can view the embedded opinion in the flash viewer below:

If the viewer isn't working for you (say, if you are viewing this on an iPad or iPhone), you can download the opinion here.