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This decision holds that the US Supreme Court's later decision in Granite Rock Co. v. Int’l Bhd. Of Teamsters (2010) 561 U.S. 287, which expressly rejected the notion that labor arbitration disputes should be analyzed differently than commercial arbitration disputes undermined the reasoning of both Pacesetter Construction Co. v. Carpenters 46 Northern California Counties Conference Bd. (9th Cir. 1997) 116… Read More

A class action waiver is conceptually distinct from an arbitration agreement, though the two are often found together.  FINRA Rule 13204 forbids class action FINRA arbitrations.  Subsection (a)(4) also forbids an employer from enforcing an arbitration agreement against an employee who is a member of a certified class in a court action, at least with respect to the claims asserted… Read More

This decision holds that Trustees v. Greenough (1882) 105 U.S. 527, and Central Railroad & Banking Co. v. Pettus (1885) 113 U.S. 116 prohibit routine awards of incentive payments to named plaintiffs from a common fund class recovery.  Greenough upheld an award of attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses but rejected as without legal basis an award for the lead plaintiff's… Read More

This decision affirms the trial court's denial of the City's Anti-SLAPP motion to strike several allegations of allegedly protected activity from a complaint otherwise alleging contract and tort claims based on the City's obstruction of plaintiff's contract rights to process coal shipments through the Port of Oakland.  The decision ends with a lengthy and insistent call for reform of the… Read More

After the district court finally approved the class action settlement, the claims review committee adopted a "framework" for dealing with "branded title" claims, which for the first time disqualified vehicles purchased at insurance auto auctions from participating in the settlement benefits.  This decision holds that the appellant purchasers who had been denied benefits under this new framework rule were third… Read More

A commercial lease provided that tenant-paid renovations or fixtures became the landlord's property on termination of the lease.  Here, the lessee was a beauty salon which had installed a water heater and sinks in a built-in counter.  This decision holds the heater and sinks were fixtures even though they could easily be removed.  If the personalty attached to the realty… Read More

Under Civil Code 1950.7(c), a commercial landlord can use a tenant's security deposit to pay the tenant's defaults in payment of rent, repair damage to the premises or to clean the premises after the tenant's move-out--but only if the lease provides that the landlord can use the deposit for those purposes.  Here, the lease authorized use of the security deposit… Read More

California's automatic renewal law, B&P Code 17600 et seq. requires a consumer’s affirmative consent to any subscription agreement automatically renewed for a new term when the initial term ends as well as “clear and conspicuous” disclosure of the offer terms, and an “easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation.  However, this decision holds that the law's provision that "all available civil remedies that… Read More

When employees are compensated on a piece work basis, they must be separately compensated at either the minimum wage or higher contractual wage rate for the rest breaks to which they are legally entitled.  If the employees are allowed to take the rest breaks, but are not separately compensated for them, they can choose either, but not both, of the… Read More

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