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Fiduciary Duty

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A real estate broker whom the court appointed to determine the listing price and sell the property in a partition action is entitled to quasi-judicial immunity from one of the co-owner's claims for breach of fiduciary duty and other torts. The broker was appointed by the court for his expertise to carry out the court’s order to sell the property… Read More

Straumann, a Swiss company, and its Swiss-resident officer, Hemm, established purposeful contacts with California by entering into an agreement to be the exclusive distributor outside the United States for Rodo, a California company making dental products.  Hemm was a member of Rodo's board at the time, but negotiated the exclusive distributorship as Straumann's agent.  Rodo's shareholders sued claiming that Rodo's… Read More

Using the website of the administrator hired by Northrup Grumman to manage its pension plan, plaintiffs submitted requests for the administrator to tell them the monthly pension benefit they would receive if they retired on a certain date.  The administrator miscalculated the benefit because it used the requesters' wages during their second period of employment by Northrup Grumman rather than… Read More

The district court wrongly dismissed this suit under SLUSA because plaintiffs did not allege a claim cognizable under federal securities laws.  They claimed that the defendant broker had switched their accounts from commission-based to fee-based without first performing a suitability analysis to see whether plaintiffs, who were buy-and-hold investors, would benefit from the change in fee structure.  That omission was… Read More

Code of Civil Procedure 1714.10, which requires prior court approval before filing a complaint charging an attorney with conspiring with his client in an attempt to contest or compromise a claim or dispute, can be invoked even if the complaint does not use the word conspiracy, so long as it alleges joint tortious action. Read More

Substantial evidence supported the findings that defendant trustees did not breach their fiduciary duties by failing to tell plaintiff about her subtrust and that plaintiff suffered no damage from her asserted ignorance of the subtrust.  Read More