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Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its misappropriation of trade secrets claim, but continued to prosecute six other causes of action against defendant.  Defendant moved unsuccessfully for an attorney fee award under Civ. Code 3426.4 which allows fee awards for trade secrets claims brought in bad faith.  Defendant's appeal from the order denying its fee motion was dismissed.  The order was not a… Read More

Disagreeing with Curry v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC (2018) 23 Cal.App.5th 289 and Henderson v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 1111, this decision holds that Equilon is a joint employer, at least for wage and hour regulation purposes, of the employees of the franchisees that run its gas stations.  For wage and hour purposes, joint employment is governed by the… Read More

Following Reid v. Google, Inc. (2010) 50 Cal.4th 512, this decision holds that the trial court erred in excluding "stray remarks" evidence in this employment discrimination case on the basis of age.  The stray remark, by an assistant dean, was that she wanted someone younger (than the applicant, not plaintiff) for a position different than any plaintiff held or applied… Read More

This decision holds that the district court erred in denying Comcast's motion to compel arbitration even though its arbitration clause precluded customers from litigating public injunction claims in any forum.  First, the decision holds that the mere presence of the clause in the arbitration agreement does not automatically invalidate the arbitration agreement for all purposes--but rather only in cases that… Read More

The de minimis copying test in a copyright infringement action relates only to the degree of copying, not to the extent of the infringement by minimum use of a copyrighted work.  So, here, defendant could  not raise a de minimis defence since it had completely copied plaintiff's copyrighted photograph of the Indianapolis skyline.  Its copying was total, not de minimis. … Read More

A court has inherent authority to ensure that PAGA claims can be fairly and efficiently tried and, if necessary, may strike claims that cannot be rendered manageable. As a matter of due process, defendants are entitled to a fair opportunity to litigate available affirmative defenses, and a court’s manageability assessment should account for them.  Here, the PAGA claim was based… Read More

Generally, a person hiring an independent contractor to perform work is  not liable for injuries suffered by the contractor's employees in performing that work under the Privette doctrine.  There are two exceptions to this rule.  The Kinsman exception which holds a hirer liable if it is a landowner and fails to disclose some tatent dangerous condition of the property to… Read More

The department's annual cap on the amount of 1, 3-D pesticide that could be applied within a township was an illegal underground regulation that was not adopted, as it should have been, in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  Even though only one company (Dow Chemical) produced 1,3-D pesticides, the township cap program applied generally to all users of the… Read More

Under the Supreme Court's modern contracts, the court must first decide whether a challenged enactment substantially impairs contracts, considering the extent to which the law undermines the contractual bargain, interferes with a party’s reasonable expectations, and prevents the party from safeguarding or reinstating his rights.  If contracts are substantially impaired, the court next considers whether the law is drawn in… Read More

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