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Plaintiffs sued YouTube claiming it allowed and enabled a well-known scam in which fraudster's take over control of a widely followed legitimate YouTube channels and then run false ad videos purporting to offer those who send in digital currency twice the amount they send in.  Of course, the fraudsters make off with the contributed digital currency giving nothing in return. … Read More

Joining a recent string of other cases, this decision refuses to follow Felisilda v. FCA US LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 486, and holds instead that a standard California car sale contract with an arbitration clause does not require the car buyer to arbitrate his warranty claims or Song Beverly Act claims against the car's manufacturer. Read More

An order denying a petition to change the petitioner's legal name is reviewed for abuse of discretion.  However, there is only a very narrow range of discretion allowed.  A name change must be granted unless the new name may cause confusion or is to a "fighting" word.  Here, petitioner sought to change her name to Candi Bimbo Doll, a name… Read More

A consent decree that defendant entered into with the Attorney General which prohibited defendant from charging any fee it couldn't show was to reimburse a reasonable cost defendant incurred did not moot the prayer in this UCL class action for a public injunction banning defendant from charging its  $45 processing fee for each new rent-to-own contract.  The consent decree did… Read More

This decision holds that Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 596 U.S. 639 did not undermine McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2017) 2 Cal.5th 945 or Blair v. Rent-A-Center, Inc. (9th Cir. 2019) 928 F.3d 819 which held that Rent-A-Center's arbitration clause was unenforceable under McGill.  Viking River Cruises dealt with PAGA suits which are different from public injunctions. Read More

The FAA's exemption for contracts of employment for workers in interstate and foreign commerce applied to plaintiff who worked in a warehouse in California which served as a transhipping depot for Adidas products which arrived at the warehouse from foreign countries, were stored temporarily at the warehouse before being loaded on trucks for distribution to local retailers.  Though plaintiff transported… Read More

This decision holds that the Court of Appeals the de novo standard of review to an order denying a nonsignatory's motion to compel arbitration by invoking equitable estoppel.  It also holds that 14 C.F.R. § 253.10 which forbids air carriers from including forum selection clauses in their contracts of carriage does not forbid an airline from relying on an arbitration… Read More

After securing a $600K judgment against Johnson, plaintiff sued him again to set aside a fraudulent transfer by which Johnson attempted to avoid execution of the judgment.  After two years of litigation on the fraudulent transfer suit, plaintiff filed a memorandum of post-judgment costs seeking to collect attorney fees and costs it expended in the second suit.  To thwart that… Read More

The trial court awarded $22 million in civil penalties against defendants for having committed UCL and FAL violations for over a decade in promoting their private university primarily to older, poor, minority students, only a quarter of whom graduated.  In calculating civil penalties at $9 per misleading sales call, the trial court erred in including in the penalty calculation calls… Read More

There are only two elements to a misappropriation of trade secrets claim:  the existence of a trade secret, and its unauthorized dissemination, disclosure or use.  It is not necessary for the plaintiff to prove it was damaged or the defendant was unjustly enriched.  Those issues are relevant only to an award of damages or restitution.  Even absent damages or enrichment,… Read More

The district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding terminating sanctions under FRCivP 37(e) against plaintiff for intentionally deleting (and getting her friends to delete) text messages about the case from their cellphones. There was substantial evidence that plaintiff acted intentionally to destroy the text messages and deprive defendant of their contents.  And lesser sanctions would not remedy that… Read More

This decision holds that a judge's denial of a motion for acquittal under Pen. Code 1118.1 in a criminal prosecution of the later plaintiff suing for malicious prosecution is sufficient to invoke the interim adverse decision rule, barring the required finding of lack of probable cause, without which the malicious prosecution action cannot succeed.  The opinion also Cel-Tech's tethering test… Read More

On remand from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal holds that substantial evidence supports USC's determination that plaintiff engaged in intimate partner violence warranting expulsion from the university.  The decision also holds that it is not a due process violation for a private association, such as a university, to follow the inquisitorial model (with a single person or body… Read More

Following Lippman v. City of Oakland (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 750, this decision holds that Building Code section 1.8.8  requires a city to provide for appeals from administrative determinations (here of a nuisance on plaintiff's property) before an independent agency or board authorized to hear such appeals or the city’s governing body.  Hearing before a single employee of the building department… Read More

Through defendant talent agency, plaintiff hired several performers for a rock concert to be held in April 2020.  Under the contract, plaintiff made a $6 million deposit that was non-refundable.  However, the contract had a force majeure clause which defined force majeure broadly enough to include cancellation of the concert due to COVID restrictions.  However, the clause further provided that… Read More

Following California Dental Assn. v. American Dental Assn. (1979) 23 Cal.3d 346, this decision holds that courts should intervene only sparingly in disputes about how private associations govern themselves.  Judicial intervention is appropriate only if an association has unreasonably construed a plain and unambiguous provision of its constitution or bylaws and the balance of the interests of the aggrieved party… Read More

The Song-Beverly Warranty Act requires new car manufacturers to provide restitution of the purchase price to the buyer of a defective car.  (Civ. Code 1793.2(d)(2)(B).)  This decision holds that if the buyer trades in or sells the defective car. the trade in credit or resale price is not deducted from the restitution that the manufacturer must pay, at least when… Read More

Unlike the FEHA, the Song-Beverly Act's one-sided attorney fee and cost clause does not expressly exempt Song-Beverly fee and cost awards from CCP 998's fee and cost shifting framework when the plaintiff does not accept the 998 offer and later recovers less than that offer.  Hence, CCP 998 applies to Song-Beverly Act claims. Section 998 aoplies even when the lawsuit… Read More

An attorney for plaintiff was found to have reviewed two of defendant's arguably attorney-client privileged documents without stopping and notifying the defendant when he realized the documents might be privileged.  However, the trial court abused its discretion in disqualifying the plaintiff's law firm as a result.  The trial court failed to say how the two documents could be used to… Read More

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