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Designs on cheerleaders’ uniforms were copyright protected because they could both (a) be perceived as two-dimensional artwork separate from the uniform itself, and (b) qualify as a protectable pictorial or graphic artworks in their own right or as applied on another medium.  Read More

A home loan borrower could survive summary judgment on her claims for breach of contract and violation of the unfair competition law based on deceptive processing and denial of the borrower's loan modification applications, since servicer should have known from the beginning that borrower’s loan exceeded eligibility guidelines yet reviewed her three times anyway.  Read More

Successive suits by mortgage borrower based on breach of contract and the Truth in Lending Act are not barred by the merger-and-bar aspect of res judicata, since the primary right sued upon is different—TILA protects a right of disclosure of key loan terms, whereas contract law protects the parties' agreement.  Read More

City settled a class action lawsuit involving garbage fees by returning the money it had charged class members and agreeing not to impose similar charges in the future, so would-be plaintiffs in a second concurrent class action had already received all the relief they sought in that second case for themselves and no longer had standing to proceed.  Read More

Unless it expressly provides otherwise, a statute granting a right to an attorney fee award contemplates a fee calculated by the lodestar method, whether or not the party seeking the fee award was personally liable to pay the attorney.  Read More

A trial court may not vacate an arbitration award for the arbitrator’s failure to disclose a possible ground for disqualification unless it is shown that the arbitrator actually knew (not merely should have known) of the undisclosed ground for disqualification.  Read More

Police officer recruits who sustained temporary injuries while training at the Police Academy were unable to prove claims for disability discrimination, but they nevertheless were entitled to judgment on their claim that the City had failed to accommodate their disabilities when it eliminated a program under which injured recruits were assigned to light administrative duties while they recovered.  Read More

The $500 cap on statutory damages for violations of Health and Safety Code § 1430(b) by a nursing home is not per lawsuit, but rather per cause of action.  Read More

Attorney-client privilege does not shield communications among plaintiff, his attorney, and a third party public relations firm whom plaintiff hired to smear defendants in an attempt to induce a favorable settlement.  Read More

In extraordinary circumstances, a Court of Appeal may issue a precedential decision denying a writ petition without first issuing an order to show cause or alternative writ, if it gives the parties ample notice of its proposed action.  Read More

A purchaser at a foreclosure sale need not perfect its title in the property by recording a trustee's deed upon sale before serving the occupant(s) with a notice to quit, so long as title is perfected before the ensuing unlawful detainer action is filed and served.  Read More

Bankruptcy trustee may recoup debtor’s mortgage payoff to lender, which was made less than 90 days before filing bankruptcy.  Read More

A pre-dispute arbitration clause cannot be enforced to require arbitration of a claim based on the Private Attorney General Act, since the claim is brought on behalf of the state which is not party to the arbitration agreement.  Read More

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in appointing a receiver to cause defendant’s hotel to remediate housing code violations after judgment was entered against defendant and defendant was given 18 months in which to cure the violations on his own.  Read More

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act's whistleblower protection section applies to protect employees who report potential securities law violations internally to their supervisors as well as employees who report violations to the SEC.  Read More

A company with a website for anonymous online postings about employment experiences has standing to assert the privacy and First Amendment rights of its posters, and to force disclosure of their identities, the plaintiff must first prove a prima facie claim against the poster.  Read More

Trial court did not err by giving jury instructions on comparative negligence in legal malpractice claim brought against plaintiff’s former lawyer for drafting a trust instrument for the plaintiff that did not retain the character of her separate property, since plaintiff had herself read and understood relevant portions of the trust before signing it.  Read More

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