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Statutory Interpretation

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In this case interpreting an old water decree, the court recognizes that use of the disjunctive "or" can, depending on context, mean either "one or the other, but not both" (its exclusive meaning) or "one or the other or both" (its inclusive meaning). Which meaning is to be given "or" depends on the context in which it is used. Here,… Read More

An employer violates Lab. Code 512 and Wage Order No. 4 if it rounds actual clock in and out times for workers to the nearest 10th or 4th of an hour in calculating their meal and rest break periods--this is true even if (a question that the Supreme Court has not resolved) a similar policy of rounding hours for beginning… Read More

After sending plaintiff a 998 offer to settle the entire case for $250,000, defendant sent plaintiff another offer, not under 998, to pay $191,000 on the contract claim, plus attorney fees, leaving the Civ. Code 3344 claim for trial.  Plaintiff accepted the second offer and later dismissed the Civ. Code 3344 claim.  Held, the second offer revoked the 998 offer,… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that the defendant was not the prevailing party entitled to an attorney fee award under Civ. Code 3344 when the plaintiff dismissed its section 3344 claim without prejudice so that it could refile that claim (which it did) in Tennessee, whose law the trial court had held applied.  Civ. Code… Read More

A defendant can be held liable for negligent misrepresentation on two disparate theories.  First, under Rest.2d Torts section 311, a defendant may be liable for negligent misrepresentation in endorsing a product that physically harms the plaintiff.  (See Hanberry v. Hearst Corp. (1969) 276 Cal.App.2d 680.)  Here, plaintiff suffered no physical injury and so couldn't rely on that theory to pursue… Read More

The federal Poultry and Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 451 et seq.) expressly preempts state laws that impose different or additional labeling requirements to the labels approved by the Secretary of Agriculture under the PPIA.  (21 U.S.C. 467e.)  This decision holds that the federal statute preempts any state law claim that the federally approved label for a poultry… Read More

Plaintiff failed to state a disparate impact claim against the County based on its policy of requiring every applicant for CalWorks welfare benefits to accept a home visit from a licensed county peace officer, which plaintiff claimed was traumatizing and stigmatizing.  To plead a disparate impact claim, plaintiff must allege that the defendant has adopted a facially neutral policy that… Read More

Since Alexander v. Sandoval (2001) 121 S.Ct. 1511, federal courts do not imply private causes of action unless a federal statute evinces an intent to create one.  The Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C. § 1951) does not show any intent to create a private right of action.  It is a simple criminal statute, outlawing use of robbery, extortion or threats of… Read More