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The trial court did not abuse its discretion in deeming plaintiffs the prevailing parties, entitled to an attorney fee award under Civ. Code 5975(c).  Plaintiffs sued their homeowners association, claiming it had not complied with the CC&Rs' requirement for homeowner approval in connection with its plan to erect a traffic light at the gate immediately adjacent to plaintiffs' property.  After… Read More

If an employer fails to give its employee the required 10-minute rest breaks or 30-minute meal break, it owes the employee an hour's premium pay calculated at the employee's "regular rate of compensation." Lab. Code 226.7(c). This decision holds that "regular rate of compensation" has the same meaning than "regular rate of pay" used to compute overtime compensation. Lab. Code… Read More

The 2017 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Residents’ Bill of Rights Act violates the First Amendment rights of staff members of long term care facilities by imposing criminal penalties on them for repeatedly referring to a facility resident by other than the resident’s preferred name or pronoun when clearly informed of the name and pronoun.  (H&S Code… Read More

Following Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela (2019) 139 S.Ct. 1407, this decision holds that at least when its application would change a fundamental attribute of arbitration, the construction against drafter rule is preempted by the FAA.  So, in this case, an ambiguity introduced by the Spanish translation's mistaken reference to nonbinding, instead of binding, arbitration could not be resolved against… Read More

Under CCP 12, courts must use the "anniversary method" of computing statutes of limitation periods, excluding the first day of the period and including the last (unless it is a holiday or weekend).  Thus, for a personal injury suit by a minor, the limitations period begins on the minor's 18th birthday.  That day is excluded, and the 2-year personal injury… Read More

The trial court correctly denied defendant's Anti-SLAPP motion in this qui tam insurance fraud action against a doctor for preparing fraudulent patient medical reports and billing statements in support of insurance claims.  The billing statements and medical reports were prepared in the ordinary course of the doctor's business and not in serious contemplation of lawsuits, so they were not protected… Read More

Under 31 U.S.C.§ 3730, the government may dismiss a federal False Claims Act case despite the objection of the relator who filed it.  The DC Circuit has held that the executive branch wields unreviewable discretion in choosing to dismiss a False Claims Act suit.  (Swift v. United States (D.C. Cir. 2003) 318 F.3d 250, 252.)  The Ninth Circuit holds that… Read More

When a plaintiff voluntarily dismissed part of its case without prejudice well in advance of the district court's involuntary dismissal of the rest of the suit with prejudice, the judgment of dismissal is appealable (see Schoenfeld v. Babbitt (11th Cir. 1999) 168 F.3d 1257, 1265–66) even though it would not be if the voluntary dismissal came after the court's ruling… Read More

Gov. Code 831.7 immunizes governmental entities from liability for any injury arising out of a hazardous recreational activity.  This decision holds that unlike Gov. Code 846 which applies only to premises liability claims, section 831.7 more broadly immunizes government entities from claims whether for hazardous conditions of property or employee negligence in connection with hazardous recreational activities.  The decision also… Read More

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