In an employment dispute involving what a reporter described as a “role reversal” of previous petitions to the courts, the California Supreme Court recently affirmed an appeals court decision that an arbitrator, and not the court, should make the determination of class status.  The court in Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc..docx affirmed the appeals court, thereby denying the defendants’ appeal to keep the question before a trial judge. Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar wrote for the majority that no “universal rule” determines whether arbitrators or the courts should decide questions of class arbitration in California, reasoning that state law doesn’t say that courts must decide and federal arbitration law doesn’t require otherwise. The majority concluded that the arbitration agreement was ambiguous about who would decide whether claims could be arbitrated classwide. Reasoning that (1) “under state law as under federal law, when the allocation of a matter to arbitration or the courts is uncertain, we resolve all doubts in favor of arbitration,” and (2) “ambiguities in written agreements are to be construed against their drafters,” the court sent the class action determination to the arbitrator. Coincidentally, this is another recent arbitration case involving an NFL superstar quarterback. “ ‘Deflategate,’ ” Tom Brady and Labor Arbitration,” is the subject of an article appearing elsewhere on this site, and Lebo Automotive is the parent company of football legend John Elway’s Manhattan Beach Toyota.