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California Appellate Tracker

The district court abused its discretion in abstaining under Younger v. Harris when the defendants commenced a state court enforcement action against plaintiff 7 months after plaintiff filed this federal court suit.  Later filed state court proceedings are properly an occasion for Younger v. Harris abstention only when the district court proceedings are still at an "embryonic stage."  Here, the… Read More

A determination by the Workers Comp. Appeals Board or its administrative law judge that plaintiff was not entitled to workers comp. benefits which he sought for psychiatric injuries arising from the discrimination, harassment and retaliation in employment, based on his ethnicity, was given res judicata effect in the employee's civil suit under FEHA for adverse employment actions based on the… Read More

Neither Cal. Const. art. XX, sec. 22 nor Bus. & Prof. Code sec. 23090.5 confers exclusive jurisdiction on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to decide contract disputes between its licensees, such as in this case between a wholesaler and a retailer about the interest or penalty charges the wholesaler could impose for failure to pay within specified time periods after… Read More

An acute care hospital had "care and custody" of a dependent elder for purposes of Welf. & Inst. Code  15610.57 when it took him in for acute care, noting he was not mentally competent and was not eating sufficiently on his own to sustain himself.  The hospital also committed "neglect" of the elder when it overrode the objections of the… Read More

Under the California Multi-Party Accounts Law, specifically Prob. Code 5203(a), when a party to a joint account dies, the surviving holder of the account takes the account proceeds in preference to the deceased party's estate, absent clear and convincing evidence of a different intent.  This is true even if the account signature card and other bank documents do not mention… Read More

Mainstay Business Solutions, a temporary staffing and employee leasing business, went insolvent.  The California Self-Insurers' Security Fund was required to assume Mainstay's liabilities for workers compensation benefits, paying out about $49 million in benefits beyond the assets Mainstay had posted for payment of benefits.  The Fund then sued Mainstay's customers for reimbursement of the amounts the Fund had paid Mainstay's… Read More

For purposes of the Labor Code's sections on wage and hour protections for employees, the same “control plus” test applies as in the area of workers compensation and unemployment insurance.  It is the test set out in G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 in which the primary factor is the employer's control… Read More

One heir's suit against another, trying to disinherit the defendant under the no contest clause in the decedent's trust, is a suit based on protected activity and thus is subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike.  The basis for the suit is the filing of the prior contest, a protected judicial proceeding.  While there might be policy reasons for exempting… Read More

Under CCP 1174.2, a tenant has a statutory right to a jury trial on the factual issue of whether they established a breach of the warranty of habitability as a defense to an unlawful detainer action. Los Angeles Superior Court, Appellate Division (Ricciardulli, J.); September 8, 2017 (partial publication on October 4, 2017); 2017 WL 4404553 Read More

Under 11 USC 550, initial transferees of fraudulent transfers are strictly liable to refund the transfer; whereas subsequent transferees are not liable if they received the transfers for value, in good faith, and without knowledge of their voidability.  The 9th Circuit determines "initial transferee" by the "dominion" test, under which the first party to receive the property that has the… Read More

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