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Inspired by a homily delivered in church by the defendant, a deacon in plaintiff's church, plaintiff agreed to and did donate over $1 million to buy a car and home for an allegedly homeless family.  Later, plaintiff sued for fraud, claiming that defendant spent the donation on unauthorized items and had deed the car and home not to the homeless… Read More

Distinguishing Wilson & Wilson v. City Council of Redwood City (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1559, this decision holds that completion of a project to revamp a shooting range did not moot plaintiff's appeal from denial of its CEQA claim.  Though the project was done, the city could still impose mitigation measures on the project to avoid its negative environmental impacts. Read More

A two-page settlement term sheet signed by the clients at the end of a mediation session was a binding agreement even though it contemplated that the parties would thereafter enter into a formal settlement agreement and a separate stipulation for entry of judgment.  The term sheet's invoking CCP 664.6 was a sign it was intended to be a binding contract. … Read More

In a non-litigation context, where plaintiff was not represented by counsel and did not necessarily view a law firm or its client as an adversary, but merely a party that it claimed owed it some money, the plaintiff was not, as a matter of law, unjustified in relying, without further investigation, on factual representations made to it in the law… Read More

Defendants' evidence on an Anti-SLAPP motion did not establish that plaintiff had discovered its claim more than three years before it sued for fraud.  The evidence at most showed that the plaintiff suspected and with diligent internet searches might have found that some of the facts stated in defendant's letter were untrue, but that would not have shown plaintiff that… Read More

Pre-litigation communications fall within the absolute litigation privilege only when made in anticipation of litigation contemplated in good faith and under serious consideration.  Here, a lawyer's letter on behalf of an entity that plaintiff claimed owed it money was not made in the context of seriously contemplated litigation.  The lawyer and its client didn't contemplate suing.  The other party had… Read More

To be protected speech under the Anti-SLAPP statute, pre-litigation communications must have been made in anticipation of litigation contemplated in good faith and under serious consideration.  Here, a lawyer's letter on behalf of an entity that plaintiff claimed owd it money was not made in the context of seriously contemplated litigation and so was not protected speech.  The lawyer and… Read More

Under California’s Health Care Decisions Law (Prob. Code, § 4600 et seq.), a principal may appoint a health care agent to make health care decisions when the principal later lacks capacity to make them.  This decision holds that the agent's authority does not extend to signing an arbitration agreement for the principal, at least when the arbitration agreement is a… Read More

This decision holds that Baral v. Schnitt (2016) 1 Cal.5th 376 has fatally undermined the holding and reasoning of South Sutter LLC v. LJ Sutter Partners, L.P. (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 634.  Baral holds that mixed causes of action must be examined under the Anti-SLAPP statute based on the allegations regarding protected activity rather than under the Pomeroy "cause of action"… Read More

In May 2020, defendant announced that it had developed a potential cure for COVID-19 which had shown promising results in in vitro tests.  Defendant's stock soared for about a week after the announcement, after which less rosy reports were issued and the stock fell back down again.  This decision affirms dismissal of a 10b-5 claim against defendant.  Its announcement did… Read More

Plaintiff tried a quasi in rem maritime attachment of the vessel M/T Berica to enforce arbitration awards plaintiff had won against B-Gas, Ltd.  However, the vessel was owned by a separate corporation, Bergshav Aframax, Ltd.  Plaintiff claimed that the vessel owner was liable on the arbitration award because it was an alter ego of B-Gas, Ltd.  This decision affirms the… Read More

Lab. Code 1194(a) provides that in a suit for unpaid minimum wages, an employee is entitled to recover the unpaid wages as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs.  This provision conflicts with CCP 1033(a) which grants trial courts discretion to deny costs when the plaintiff recovers less than the maximum awardable in a limited jurisdiction case.  This decision determines… Read More

This decision follows John's Grill, Inc. v. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (2022) 86 Cal.App.5th 1195, review granted in holding that under a virus coverage endorsement similar to the one in John's Grill, the policy provides coverage for the virus including virus decontamination is not limited to cases of physical loss or damage apart from the presence of a virus,… Read More

Following Long v. Provide Commerce, Inc. (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 855 and Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc. (9th Cir. 2014) 763 F.3d 1171, this decision holds that "browsewrap"--meaning a website that displays terms of use but does not require the user to affirmatively indicate his acceptance of those terms--is insufficient to indicate agreement to the terms of use, rendering the… Read More

This decision holds that under Wage Order 16: (1) time spent awaiting and undergoing an employer-mandated exit security procedure that includes the employer’s visual inspection of the employee’s personal vehicle at a security gate is compensable hours worked because it is an employer-mandated task for the employer's benefit.  (2) Time spent traveling between the security gate and the employee parking… Read More

By removing plaintiff from its no-fly list, the FBI did not moot plaintiff's claim that the US had violated his due process rights by adding him to that list without notice or any means of redress.  The removal didn't prevent the FBI from adding plaintiff to the list once again later and equally without notice or redress, and the FBI… Read More

A public official does not engage in state action by blocking a person from commenting on the official's social media page or posts the official both (1) possesses actual authority to speak on the State’s behalf on a particular matter, and (2) purports to exercise that authority when speaking in the relevant social-media posts. Merely repeating information that is publicly… Read More

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