In Ferguson v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. Oct 28, 2013), the Ninth Circuit held (after bypassing the issue in Kilgore) that the FAA, as construed in Concepcion, preempts the California Supreme Court's Broughton-Cruz rule.
Consumer Law & Policy Blog has more on the Ferguson opinion, as well as a report on Chevarria v. Ralphs Grocery Co., ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. Oct. 28, 2013), in which the same Ninth Circuit panel held that the district court properly refused to enforce an arbitration clause under the generally-applicable state-law unconscionability rules expressed in Armendariz.
The Chevarria opinion does not cite Sonic-Calabasas, but it does say this:
The Supreme Court’s holding that the FAA preempts state laws having a “disproportionate impact” on arbitration cannot be read to immunize all arbitration agreements from invalidation no matter how unconscionable they may be, so long as they invoke the shield of arbitration. Our court has recently explained the nuance: “Concepcion outlaws discrimination in state policy that is unfavorable to arbitration.” Mortensen v. Bresnan Commc’ns, LLC, 722 F.3d 1151, 1160 (9th Cir. 2013) (emphasis added). We think this is a sensible reading of Concepcion.
Slip op. at 21 (emphasis in original).