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A federal court can may compel a witness to appear at a trial if the court is within the same state or within 100 miles of the witness' residence or place of business.  FrCP 45.  The court may take remote testimony for good cause in compelling circumstances.  FRCP 43.  But the court cannot compel a witness outside the normal subpoena… Read More

Under the state's False Claims Act and Insurance Frauds Prevention Act, a qui tam plaintiff must file the complaint under seal and send it to the Attorney General or Insuance Commissioner and district attorney.  Only after those entities decide not to intervene and take over prosecution of the action may the plaintiff serve the defendant(s) and proceed to litigate the… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding plaintiff's principal officer from the courtroom during the portions of the trial in which the technical details were discussed regarding Yelp's software for filtering out unreliable reviews.  The officer was an experienced programmer who had previously managed to circumvent Yelp's software and might do so again.  Though a party, he… Read More

A student is entitled to notice and an opportunity to be heard before a written disciplinary reprimand is placed in his student file.  However, the student is not entitled to a trial type hearing or to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him when such a low level of discipline is imposed.  A trial-like hearing would impose too great a burden… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in entering an in limine motion that effectively prevented plaintiff from presenting any evidence at trial.  Plaintiff had not complied with the superior court's local rule requiring an exchange of exhibits and witness lists a week before trial.  Also, plaintiff had not responded to defendant's written discovery or presented its witnesses for… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's oral motion to continue the trial presented at the start of what was scheduled to be the first day of trial.  Under Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1332(b), a party seeking a continuance of a trial must do so by written motion or ex parte application with a supporting… Read More

An order granting a new trial on the ground of insufficiency of the evidence must be supported by a specification of reasons that does more than just recite ultimate facts.  The specification must point to the evidence which convinced the trial court that there was insufficient evidence on a particular issue.  Here, the specification of reasons did not do so. … Read More

A trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing wage & hour putative class action for failure to bring to trial within five years since pending arbitration did not prevent plaintiff from moving forward with the non-arbitrable pieces of litigation. Read More

For the first time, this decision holds that the rule barring attorneys from vouching for a witness’ credibility in closing argument applies to civil as well as criminal cases, but because the rule’s application to civil cases was not clear before, the district court did not commit plain error in failing to strike the forbidden argument sua sponte.  Read More