California Sen. John Moorlach said SB33 bill is looked at as a job killer, "like trial attorneys [that] push to try and avoid class action lawsuits."
According to Moorlach, plus 12 of his peers who voted no on the legislation first heard in December 2016. “Justice Elena Kagan delivered a new opinion on behalf of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 16, 2017, that emphasizes any state law that is discriminatory and targets arbitration, such as SB 33, preempted under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA),” Moorlach to The Northern California Record .
The vice chair of the Judiciary Committee said SB 33 creates confusion between who is the respondent and the consumer, is ambiguous as to the determination of ''purported contractual relationship'' created fraudulently by unlawfully using the consumer’s personal identifying information, allows class actions where the attorneys are the financial winners not the consumer. "For all those reasons I voted no,” he said.
Authored by Sen. Bill Todd and co-authored by Sens. Robert Hertzberg and David Chiu, SB33 would broaden the definition of a financial institution to any individual business or association regulated by the corporations’ code, Moorlach said. According to the bill’s language, “If the court determines that a written agreement to arbitrate a controversy exists, an order to arbitrate such controversy may not be refused on the ground that the petitioner’s contentions lack substantive merit.”
A 2016 Los Angeles Times report revealed that "Wells Fargo paid $185 million to federal and Los Angeles authorities to settle allegations that its employees had opened as many as 2 million bogus accounts for customers and strangers, all in order to meet relentless sales quotas imposed by the bank’s brass."
This does not sit well with Moorlach.
“Wells Fargo has really botched it up," he said "It is a real disappoint because I had a relationship with Wells Fargo when I was treasure for Orange County, and even had dinner with their former CEO a couple of times. I am sad to see all the bad press and nonsense. I don’t see it as cause or a reason to start changing the rules and going after arbitration in this form so that is why I voted against it."
No alterations to the bill would matter in the end, the senator noted.
"I did not agree with the concept as a whole, so I don’t know that an amendment would have been satisfactory," he said, adding if there is a chance of amendments in the second house, the simple "administrative function" will not keep it from becoming law by January 2018.