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Newspaper delivery carriers sued to recover their mileage expenses under Lab. Code 2082, claiming that defendant had misclassified them as independent contractors, rather than as employees.  On that claim, the control plus test set out in G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 governs whether a worker is an employee.  Newspaper carriers were… Read More

In a quiet title action, if summons is served by publication, the published notice must describe the property at issue, giving either or both of its street address or legal description.  (CCP 763.,020.)  Here, the published notice gave only the assessor's parcel number.  As the notice did not comply with the statute, it was insufficient; so the default of the… Read More

An order quashing service of summons is an appealable order under CCP 904.1(a)(3).  The statute does not draw any distinction between orders quashing service of summons for lack of personal jurisdiction (which are final orders ending the case) and orders quashing service because it was inadequately performed (which are interlocutory since summons can be served again by proper means).  Hence,… Read More

A new trial was required on plaintiff's promissory fraud claim due to inconsistent special verdicts.  The jury had found that the individual defendant did not commit fraud while the corporate defendant did.  Since the corporation had made promises to plaintiff only through the individual defendant's communications with him, the two verdicts were inconsistent.  When special verdicts are inconsistent, the court… Read More

Plaintiff attorney was hired by defendant as an in-house attorney, but his compensation was dependent, in part, on the outcome of a large bit of litigation in which the defendant was engaged.  This decision holds that plaintiff's agreement was a contingency fee agreement which was unenforceable because not written and signed by both parties as required by B&P Code 6147. … Read More

This decision dismisses defendant's appeals from several trial court orders under the appellate disentitlement doctrine.  Defendant had refused to obey a long string of court orders in this long running dispute over a construction contract for defendant's casino.  Defendant refused to obey an order compelling arbitration.  Then it got an injunction against arbitration from its own newly formed tribal court,… Read More

Following Mazza v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (9th Cir. 2012) 666 F.3d 581, this decision holds that the district court erred in certifying a nationwide class of end purchasers of computer equipment containing Qualcomm chips under Rule 23(b)(3).  To determine the law applicable to the class' antitrust claims, the court must apply California's governmental interest analysis.  Here, the only… Read More

Following Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami (2017) 137 S.Ct. 1296, this decision holds that Oakland failed to allege facts showing its harm was proximately caused by Wells Fargo's alleged violation of the Fair Housing Act (42 USC 3613) by discriminating against Black and Hispanic borrowers, steering them to higher cost loans and loans with features that made… Read More

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