The January 2011 issue of California Lawyer had a very interesting article by Pamela McLean on the Concepcion case, still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The article begins:
It is no accident that AT&T Mobility's ban on class actions in arbitration caught the eye of the U.S. Supreme Court, which selected it from a runway parade of other challenges to mandatory arbitration clauses that include class waivers. The phone company had groomed its consumer contract for years, anticipating a model test case. It got one in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, No. 09-893, argued before the Court in November.
In a highly unusual step two years ago, AT&T filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in an appeal by T-Mobile USA, Inc., whose own arbitration clause had been found unconscionable (T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Laster, 407 F. Supp. 2d 1181 (S.D. Cal. 2005) cert. denied, 553 U.S. 1064 (2008)). In its brief for respondents, AT&T asked the Court to deny certiorari, suggesting that its arbitration clause was a "realistic and effective dispute resolution vehicle." When the Court denied cert, it opened the door for AT&T to submit Concepcion the following year.