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The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendants' motion to disqualify plaintiff's outside counsel firm, Pillsbury, on the ground that Pillsbury had hired two attorneys who eight years before had been associates at Sedgwick and while there had represented some of the defendant insurers in other coverage disputes involving different insureds.  Defendants' evidence failed to show that… Read More

Summary judgment for defendant affirmed.  Defendant met its initial burden of disproving causation, a necessary element of plaintiffs' claims, by evidence showing that (a) stray voltage must exceed certain levels to be felt by a human being and that the voltages in plaintiffs' home were far lower, (b) a person would receive a shock only by touching surfaces with differing… Read More

An award of punitive damages was excessive where it equaled the full value of the only asset that the defendant was shown to own.  It is plaintiff's burden to produce evidence demonstrating the defendant's financial condition--including both assets and liabilities.  Here, plaintiff failed to present evidence of liabilities or show that defendant had more than a minimal annual income.  Proof… Read More

A medical expert testifying about causation in support of the party bearing the burden of proof in a medical malpractice case must be able to express an opinion “to a reasonable medical probability,” which means more likely than not.  If the defendant tries to prove that something other than its alleged negligence caused plaintiff's injury, it bears the burden of… Read More

Under Evid. Code 1222, authorized admissions are an exception to the hearsay rule.  This decision holds that the exception applies to any authorized statements by an agent or employee, whether made to third parties or to other agents or employees of the same principal.  It also holds that under Dart Industries, Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co. (2002) 28 Cal.4th… Read More

An apex deposition of the head of a governmental department is allowed only with the agency head is shown to have direct personal factual (as opposed to legal) knowledge of information pertinent to material issues in litigation and the agency head's information is not available through another source.  Here, an apex deposition of the former district attorney was not allowed… Read More

Statistical evidence is admissible to establish predominance under FRCivP 23(b)(3) if that evidence would be admissible in an individual action on the same claim, the statistical evidence is linked to the plaintiffs' theory of liability and the use of averaging assumptions does not conceal the variations that otherwise would defeat class certification.  Here, plaintiffs' statistical evidence satisfied those three tests. … Read More

The district attorneys of several counties served Alorica with an investigative subpoena to produce records regarding it debt collection practices and in particular with respect to its collections for a national bank.  Held, the subpoena was properly enforced.  That Alorica claims not to be a debt collector within the meaning of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is no… Read More

Plaintiff sued defendant for stalking her and firing crossbow bolts and bullets at her office.  The trial court did not err in admitting into evidence an audio recording of a telephone call plaintiff made to defendant at the request of the police.  The recording was adequately authenticated.  Plaintiff testified she recognizes the voices on the tape as hers and defendant's. … Read More

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