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Choice of Law

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The California Arbitration Act governs procedure in state court in compelling arbitration even when the FAA governs the substantive rules regarding arbitration.  Under CCP 1281.2(c), a trial court has discretion to deny arbitration if a party to the arbitration agreement is also a party to a pending court action with a third party, "arising out of the same transaction or… Read More

The trial court prejudicially erred in this asbestosis case in giving a causation instruction based on California law.  In an earlier writ proceeding, the Court of Appeal had held that Michigan law applies to this case, at least as against Marley-Wylain because the plaintiff worked in Michigan while employed by Marley-Wylain and was exposed to asbestos in Michigan during that… Read More

Distinguishing Monster Energy Co. v. City Beverages, LLC (9th Cir. 2019) 940 F.3d 1130 as interpreting federal, not California law, and involving a one-time litigant against a repeat player, this decision holds that in a commercial, non-consumer, arbitration, California law does not require an arbitrator to disclose his 0.1 percent interest in JAMS.  Arbitrators are required to disclose their relationship… Read More

Under the Rest.2d Conflicts of Law's most significant relationship test, the law of the state of incorporation governs a directors and officers liability policy rather than the law of the state where the corporate headquarters are located.  The state of incorporation's law governs the directors' and officers' duties to the corporation, so it is logical that the same state's law… Read More

Plaintiff was a licensed solicitor in London and the subject of disciplinary proceedings before the independent regulatory body that governs solicitors and barristers in the UK.  He traveled to California and then claimed he was too ill to return to the UK, so an adjournment of the disciplinary proceedings should be continued.  Defendant, a doctor, was appointed as a neutral… Read More

Federal common law governs the effect of a federal court's judgment on federal law claims (Taylor v. Sturgell (2008) 553 U.S. 880, 891) whereas state law governs the res judicata effect of a federal court's judgment on state law claims when exercising diversity jurisdiction (Semtek Internat. Inc. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2001) 531 U.S. 497, 507).  It is unclear which… Read More

This decision refuses to enforce a Utah choice of law clause in a credit card agreement, the credit card having been used to buy a motorcycle in California.  While the choice of Utah law was reasonable since that is where the card issuer was located, application of Utah law would offend fundamental California public policy as expressed in McGill v.… Read More

Following the en banc decision in In re Hyundai & Kia Fuel Econ. Litig. (Espinoza v. Ahearn) (9th Cir. 2019) 926 F.3d 539, this decision holds that the district court did not abuse its discretion in avoiding a detailed analysis of varying applicable state laws in certifying a setlttement-only class in this case.  That was particularly true as one of… Read More

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