Any day now, the Supreme Court can be expected to hand down its decision in Gentry, the no-class-action arbitration clause case that was argued on June 5th. Meanwhile, the Court continues to issue more "grant and hold" orders in no-class-action arbitration clause cases. Its two most recent such orders were in two cases in which the lower courts struck down the no-class-action provisions. Massie v. Ralph's Grocery Co., no. S153059 (review granted 08/08/07) (blog post on Massie); Firchow v. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., no. S150386 (review granted 4/26/07) (blog posts on Firchow). This was a break from the Court's prior pattern, which was to grant review in cases in which the lower courts upheld the provisions (presumably so that the error could be corrected) and to deny review in cases invalidating them (which were, of course, correctly decided).
An alert blog reader noticed, however, that in Massie v. Ralph's Grocery, the most recent of these cases, the Supreme Court granted review, but then denied the accompanying request for an immediate stay. Massie v. Ralph's Grocery Co., no. S153159 (order filed 08/08/07). Presumably, the denial will allow the class action to proceed apace in the court system.
So, what does all this mean? Does any of this activity tell us where the Court is headed in Gentry? I confess I'm about ready to give up on my attempts to predict this kind of thing. Comments welcome.