August 18, 2022

Munger Tolles Secures Appellate Victory for Block

A team of Munger, Tolles & Olson litigators secured a win for Block, Inc. in a long-running case recently resolved in Block’s favor by the California First District Court of Appeal. In a unanimous ruling, the court found that the plaintiff bankruptcy attorney failed to plead facts stating a cause of action under the Unruh Civil Rights Act for occupational discrimination, and affirmed Block’s sustained demurrer from the trial court.   

The plaintiff had sued Square, Inc., now Block, Inc., alleging that Block’s terms of service constituted arbitrary discrimination against bankruptcy attorneys. The Block terms prohibited users from accepting payments in connection with various businesses or activities, including “bankruptcy attorneys or collection agencies engaged in the collection of debt.” 

The court found that Block was focused on transactions, not personal characteristics and had a legitimate business interest in avoiding the legal and financial risks associated with bankruptcy and debt collection payments. As a matter of law, Block did not discriminate on the basis of occupation or other personal characteristics. 

The Munger, Tolles & Olson team included Jonathan Blavin, Rose Ehler, Max Rosen and Maggie Thompson. Ms. Ehler argued the appeal.  

To read the decision, click here.