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Res Judicata

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This decision holds that Baral v. Schnitt (2016) 1 Cal.5th 376 has fatally undermined the holding and reasoning of South Sutter LLC v. LJ Sutter Partners, L.P. (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 634.  Baral holds that mixed causes of action must be examined under the Anti-SLAPP statute based on the allegations regarding protected activity rather than under the Pomeroy "cause of action"… Read More

Disagreeing with Hardy v. America's Best Home Loans (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 795 and Gray v. La Salle Bank (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 1215, this split decision holds that Fed. R. Civ. P. 41's two dismissal rule bars later litigation in state court even if limited to state law claims so long as the second dismissal was in federal court on a… Read More

A dismissal without prejudice in either state or federal court is not a final judgment given res judicata effect if the dismissal is entered after a demurrer has been sustained or motion to dismiss has been granted with leave to amend and the dismissal is filed within the time allowed for amendment. Read More

In federal court, FRCivP 41(a)(1)(B) treats the second voluntary dismissal without prejudice of the same claims as a judgment on the merits.  However, this decision holds that the federal rule does not give a second dismissal in federal court the force of a judgment on the merits for claim preclusion purposes if the plaintiff files a third suit on the… Read More

Recognizing a divergence of opinions on this point, this decision follows Rice v. Crow (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 725 and Le Parc Community Assn. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1161 in holding that the bare voluntary pre-trial dismissal of a lawsuit (pursant to settlement with less than all defendants) with prejudice does not result in the “actual litigation”… Read More

Mendoza was president of a local union.  The international ATU imposed a trusteeship on that local union ousting Mendoza and the local union's executive board members having discovered suspected financial malfeasance.  Mendoza filed an action against the ATU on his own behalf.  The ATU removed it to federal court, claiming NRLA preemption.  While the first suit was pending Mendoza filed… Read More

The res judicata/collateral estoppel effect of a post-foreclosure unlawful detainer judgment extends only to proper conduct of the trustee's sale, not to claims of earlier wrongs committed by the lender that purportedly led eventually to the foreclosure.  Thus, here, the unlawful detainer judgment against the borrowers did not preclude them from later suing on a claim that the lender had… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in adding P as an additional judgment debtor.  The trial court's early granting of summary judgment to P when she was initially sued in the case didn't prevent her from later being added to the judgment, since the summary judgment absolved her of indiivdual liability for the wrongs committed, while adding her… Read More

Borrower's fourth mortgage foreclosure delay suit was properly dismissed as barred by the res judicata effect of the prior three judgments against her, two of which had been affirmed on appeal.  All the actions involved the same cause of action as they all asserted a violation of borrower's ownership interest in the property that was subject to her deed of… Read More

The first trial of this case resulted in a jury verdict for defendant on all seven of plaintiff's claims.  The trial court granted plaintiff a new trial on three of her claims.  The second trial resulted in a verdict for plaintiff on all three of those claims.  This decision holds that the jury verdicts on the four claims that were… Read More

Ordinarily, a judgment dismissing a case on the ground that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over is not a judgment on the merits and does not operate as res judicata.  However, in the unique context of the Federal Tort Claims Act, the court has subject matter jurisdiction only if the complaint plausibly alleges all six elements of an FTCA… Read More