California lemon law attorney Michael Vachon, LL.M. is proud to announce his victory over Fletcher Jones Motorcars (a Newport Beach, California Mercedes-Benz dealership) in the appellate decision Lewis v. Fletcher Jones Motor Cars, Inc. (Court of Appeal Case No. G045603). The plaintiff in that case, Ms. Christy Lewis, has at all times been represented by the California lemon law lawyer who publishes this Web site. The ruling was handed down on March 26, 2012 by California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 3 (the Orange County, California Division).
At issue in this appeal was whether Ms. Lewis and her lemon law lawyer should be forced to arbitrate her claims against Fletcher Jones Motorcars, rather than being able to litigate them in court. This ruling was tremendously important to Ms. Lewis’s legal claims because (as both Fletcher Jones Mercedes and Ms. Lewis’s CA lemon law attorney know) arbitration is a forum that is favorable to business defendants and unfair to consumer plaintiffs due to the fact that arbitration usually outright limits (or substantially restricts) the consumers’ ability to gather evidence in the discovery phase of the litigation.
Are you a Fletcher Jones Motorcars customer? If so, click here to learn about California lemon law lawyer Michael Vachon, LL.M.’s attempts to contact Fletcher Jones Motorcars customers.
The Fletcher Jones Motorcars Lawsuit
Ms. Lewis (through her California lemon law lawyer) first filed her complaint against Fletcher Jones Motorcars on January 14, 2011. The current complaint in that lawsuit alleges that Fletcher Jones Motorcars falsified the down payment amounts stated in Ms. Lewis’s vehicle lease contract. Ms. Lewis further alleges that Fletcher Jones Motorcars deliberately stated inaccurate down payment amounts so that Fletcher Jones could get her financed for a vehicle lease that she could not afford, and for which she otherwise would not have qualified. Ms. Lewis’s California lemon law lawyer alleges in the complaint that by falsely stating the down payment amounts Fletcher Jones Motorcars violated California’s Vehicle Leasing Act, thereby entitling Ms. Lewis to rescind the vehicle lease transaction and get her money back.
Ms. Lewis’s CA lemon law attorney has also included in the lawsuit allegations that Fletcher Jones Motorcars obtained her signature on a form stating that she would be obligated to pay $10,000 to Fletcher Jones Motorcars (purportedly as “liquidated damages”) in the event that she exported her lease vehicle out of North America. The complaint in the Orange County, California lawsuit alleges that this is an additional breach of California’s Vehicle Leasing Act.
Click here to view a copy of the current complaint against Fletcher Jones Motorcars, as filed by California lemon law attorney Michael Vachon, LL.M. in the Orange County Superior Court (Case No. 30-2011-00441338).
California Lemon Law Attorney Says That False Down Payment Cases Are on the Rise
As it turns out, this is not the first or only false down payment lawsuit being litigated by California lemon law lawyer Michael Vachon, LL.M. He states that, in addition to representing Ms. Lewis in the Orange County, California litigation, he is also counsel of record in several other falsified down payment lawsuits. Even though they do not involve any violation of the California lemon law, false down payment lawsuits (like the one against Fletcher Jones Motorcars) are becoming one of the most common non-California lemon law cases that lemon law attorneys in California are litigating.
Fletcher Jones Motorcars Tried to Force Ms. Lewis Into Arbitration
Approximately four and one-half months after Ms. Lewis’s complaint against Fletcher Jones Motorcars was filed by her California lemon law lawyer in the Orange County Superior Court, Fletcher Jones Motorcars filed a motion requesting that the judge stay the litigation and force Ms. Lewis and lemon law attorney to arbitrate her legal claims against the Newport Beach, California Mercedes dealership.
Because Ms. Lewis’s attorney (like most car dealer fraud and lemon law lawyers in California) was aware that arbitration is unfair to consumers and weighed in favor of the corporate defendants, he opposed the motion on numerous legal grounds, including an assertion that Fletcher Jones Motorcars had legally waived the right to compel arbitration by (1) waiting too long to try and assert that right, and (2) trying to win the lawsuit outright, in court, in several motions that it filed prior to asking the court to send the case to arbitration.
The Honorable Thierry P. Colaw, the judge presiding over the Lewis v. Fletcher Jones Motorcars lawsuit, ruled for Ms. Lewis, accepting and adopting the arguments of her California lemon law attorney.
On August 3, 2011, Fletcher Jones Motorcars filed a notice of appeal, which asked the California Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Colaw’s findings.
Court of Appeal Rules Against Fletcher Jones Mercedes and for Ms. Lewis and Her California Lemon Law Attorney
After accepting substantial written briefing from both Fletcher Jones Mercedes and Ms. Lewis’s CA lemon law attorney, the Court of Appeal heard oral argument in the appeal on March 21, 2012.
Although California appellate courts usually take 60 days or longer to issue their written opinions, the Orange County Division of the California Court of Appeal took just five days to dispose of the Fletcher Jones Motorcars appeal. The Court of Appeal affirmed Judge Colaw’s findings (and Ms. Lewis’s California lemon law attorney’s arguments) that the Newport Beach Mercedes dealership had waived any existing right to compel arbitration. The Court of Appeal specifically rejected all of the arguments asserted by counsel for Fletcher Jones Motorcars, and noted that Fletcher Jones’s attorneys had been completely unable to cite to any authority countering the arguments and legal precedent cited by Ms. Lewis’s California lemon law lawyer.
Click here if you would like to read the official copy of the Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Fletcher Jones Motorcars appeal.
California Lemon Law Lawyer is Now Looking for Other Fletcher Jones Motorcars Customers
Now that the California Court of Appeal has returned the Lewis v. Fletcher Jones Motor Cars, Inc. lawsuit back to the Orange County Superior Court where it belongs, Ms. Lewis’s California lemon lawyer is trying to identify and find other Fletcher Jones Motorcars customers to see if they would be willing to discuss their dealings with the Newport Beach, California Mercedes dealership. Although he is primarily looking for evidence that Fletcher Jones Motorcars has falsified other customers’ down payment amounts, for any Fletcher Jones Mercedes customers who request it he is willing to conduct a thorough and complete document review and potential case analysis.
If you are a former Fletcher Jones Motorcars customer, that means that you can have one of the best and most experienced lemon law attorneys in California look over your documents, and give you legal advice regarding whether or not Fletcher Jones Mercedes violated the California lemon law’s requirements, committed any type of car dealer fraud, of otherwise violated California’s consumer protection statutes. Consultations are completely FREE for all Fletcher Jones Motorcars customers.
If you bought or leased a Mercedes vehicle from Fletcher Jones Motorcars, then please call California lemon law attorney Michael Vachon, LL.M. right away at (855) 4-LEMON-LAW (toll free call anywhere in California).
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