Cases & Deals

LowerMyBills wins appellate victory in arbitration case

Client(s) LowerMyBills "LMB" Mortgage Services, Inc.

Jones Day secured a significant appellate victory in the Ninth Circuit for the Firm's client LowerMyBills ("LMB") Mortgage Services, Inc. The company was sued over receipt of an allegedly unwanted text message, and moved to compel arbitration. The district court denied the motion on the ground that there were disputed facts concerning whether the plaintiff had agreed to the website's terms of use and whether he was bound by his mother's agreement to those terms. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed. It first held, as Jones Day had argued, that there was appellate jurisdiction even though the district court's order did not finally resolve the issue of arbitrability. The Ninth Circuit then held, again as Jones Day had suggested, that the district court should not have denied LMB's motion to compel, but rather should have proceeded immediately to trial on the disputes of material fact that it had identified. As a result, the court remanded for the district court to conduct that trial in the first instance. The Ninth Circuit's decision furthers the purposes of the Federal Arbitration Act by ensuring that disputes about arbitrability are resolved as quickly as possible, at the threshold, even when factual disputes over arbitrability exist.

Hansen v. LMB Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 20-15272 (9th Cir.)