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California Appellate Tracker

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The arbitration clause in a law firm’s partnership agreement was unconscionable and unenforceable because it required the lawyer/partner to pay half the arbitration costs and her own attorney fees, because it restricted the arbitrators’ ability to “override” or “substitute [their] judgment” for that of the law firm’s management, and it required confidentiality about all arbitrations. Read More

Unless a personal injury plaintiff’s (future) heirs join in the settlement agreement individually, they are not bound by it or by its releases, so money paid to the plaintiff to settle future wrongful death suits is worth only as much as the hold harmless agreement by the now-deceased plaintiff is; moreover, non-settling defendants cannot take advantage of any setoff as… Read More

A homeowner association’s recorded CC&Rs, which contained a provision granting the association a first-priority lien on an adjoining golf course if for maintenance fees the association paid after the course's owner failed to do so, gave association’s lien priority over mortgage that was recorded after the CC&Rs but before the fees were paid. Read More

A PAGA pre-suit notice of a Labor Code violation need not meet pleading standards or include evidence, but it must include sufficient detail to give the employer adequate notice of the nature of the violation. Read More

Extrinsic evidence of trustor’s intent is admissible to shed light on the applicability of the “impossibility limitation” on conditions precedent to dispositions by will or trust. Read More

Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged, for purposes of the Alien Tort Statute, that (1) cocoa purchasers’ conduct in paying personal spending money to Ivory Coast growers—despite knowledge of their use of child slave labor—was not ordinary business conduct and (2)  the payments were made from the United States, even though the slave labor itself occurred overseas. Read More

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