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Under Lab. Code 2785, the exemptions are retroactive.  Here, a securities investment advisor with a registered broker-dealer (one of the exempt categories) sued for wage and hour violations which occurred before the exemption was enacted.  This decision holds that section 2785, making the exemption retroactive, is constitutional.  There was a rational basis for treating securities investment advisors differently; hence, the… Read More

Former nanny sued parent-employers on four wage-and-hour claims and also for defamation based on statements parents made to a friend the parents involved in an attempt to obtain a release of claims by the nanny in exchange for a severance package.  Held, the statements were not protected speech under the Anti-SLAPP statute since litigation was not then threatened or seriously… Read More

Plaintiff made a sufficient showing of constitutional "malice"--i.e., knowledge of falsity or reckless with respect to truth--to survive an Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss.  In this case, plaintiff, an opposing candidate, sued Maxine Waters for falsely accusing him of having been dishonorably discharged by the Navy.  Plaintiff showed Waters an official-looking document saying he was honorably discharged.  Waters didn't investigate whether… Read More

This decision holds that an unsecured creditor that was the chair of the committee of unsecured creditors in East Coast's Chapter 11 proceeding lacked Article III standing to appeal from the bankruptcy court's order awarding the Chapter 11 trustee the maximum allowable fees.  The confirmed Chapter 11 plan provided for the debtor's reorganization and full payment of all allowed claims,… Read More

Under Civ. Code 1943, an agreement to rent or lease real property is presumed to be month-to-month unless stated otherwise in writing, except that for real property used for agricultural or grazing purposes, the presumed term is year-to-year unless otherwise expressed in the rental agreement or lease.  Here, assuming arguendo that a cannabis grower (of plants in pots set on… Read More

Though LA's city council adopted a resolution approving deeding a parcel of city-owned real property to plaintiff, the resolution was not a contract and did not bind the city to convey the property.  Instead, the city would be bound only if its charter provisions and administrative code provisions governing city contracts were properly followed.  Since discretion was involved in the… Read More

Emphasizing the difference between the broad duty to defend and the narrower duty to indemnify, this decision holds that the defendant insurer breached its contractual duty to defend plaintiff homeowner against a suit for damages caused by two pit bull dogs that the complaint alleged were owned by the homeowner.  The homeowners insurance policy contained an express exclusion of coverage… Read More

Reversing an Anti-SLAPP order striking plaintiff's complaint, this decision holds that Civ. Code 1788.17 incorporates into the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the strict liability standard of 15 USC 1692(e) for false statements made in collecting a debt or regarding the legal status of the debt.  Thus, the debt collector may be held liable under the Rosenthal Act for… Read More

This decision extensively analyzes the trivial defect doctrine as applied to sidewalk discontinuities.  It rejects the defendant city's argument that the 1-3/4" discontinuity in this case was trivial as a matter of law.  A defect of that height generally is left to the jury to evaluate.  Also, the court's holistic consideration of other surrounding circumstances led it to reject the… Read More

A plaintiff may state a viable CLRA claim based on the defendant's nondisclosure in any of the four circumstances that Limandri allows a fraud claim based on nondisclosure.  Here, plaintiff states a viable CLRA claim based on the defendant hospital's failure to disclose to emergency room patients that it would charge an evaluation and management services fee that could amount… Read More

The allegation of temporary loss of use of property resulting from pandemic-related government closure orders—without any physical loss of the property—is not sufficient to support a claim against an insurer for business income coverage under a policy that requires the suspension be caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to” insured property.  Instead some physical alteration of the premises… Read More

In this case, plaintiff obtained a UIM arbitration award for the entire $1 million umbrella policy limit due to emotional distress plaintiff suffered from seeing the underinsured motorist hit her mother who was crossing the street with her.  Before the arbitration award, plaintiff made a 998 offer for a penny less than the umbrella policy limits, which the insurer refused. … Read More

The force majeure clause in the parties' lease allowed a party to defer performance if a force majeure delayed, interrupted or prevented performance of obligations under the lease.  This decision holds that though COVID-19 and related governmental restrictions on use of the premises for its intended purpose as a brewpub, the pandemic did not delay, interrupt or prevent the tenant… Read More

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