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To determine whether speech or other conduct falls within the scope of CCP 425.16(e)(4)'s catchall provision, the court must make a two-step analysis, first asking what public issue or issue of public interest the defendant's conduct or speech implicates, and second asking what functional relationship exists between the speech and the public conversation about that issue of public interest--i.e., whether… Read More

Under Civil Code 846, landowners are generally immune from liability for personal injuries suffered by persons entering their property for recreational use. There is an exception to that immunity if the plaintiff was "expressly invited rather than merely permitted to come upon the premises by the landowner."  This decision holds that despite the statutory wording, immunity is lost if the… Read More

The FCC's regulation governing the standards for the permissible amount of radio frequency emission from a cellphone (47 C.F.R. § 1.1310(c)) preempt plaintiff's state law claims that Apple's iPhones are unsafe even though they conform to the FCC's standards.  The FCC issued its regulation under the broad authority that Congress conferred on it in the Federal Communications Act of 1934. … Read More

Landlord violated Pasadena's eviction control ordinance by failing to offer tenants a one-year lease after giving them notice of a rent increase.  Also, the landlord violated the ordinance in treating as cause for eviction the presence on the premises of the husband and daughter of one of the authorized tenants.  The ordinance requires landlords to allow occupancy by dependent minors… Read More

Enacted in 2002, Civ. Code 3339, Gov. Code 7285, Health & Saf. Code 24000, and Lab. Code 1171.5 each provide that all rights and protections of law are available to all without regard to immigration status, that immigration status is irrelevant to proof of liability for violation of state labor, employment, civil rights, consumer protection, and housing laws, and that… Read More

A "conditional acceptance" of a 998 offer is ineffective to become on enforceable settlement under CCP 998, although it may become a settlement upon the original offeror's acceptance of the other party's counteroffer.  Here, Sutter's 998 offer was $500,000.  Plaintiff's "conditional acceptance" added three terms for the court to "clarify" including whether prejudgment interest was owed on the $500,000.  The… Read More

The Ellis Act re-subjects to rent control units that are taken off the market under the Act but then are re-rented within five years thereafter.  (Gov. Code 7060.2(d).)  That provision prevails over Civ. Code 1954.52 which exempts separately alienable single family dwellings or units from rent control.  So, the landlord did not evade rent control by withdrawing five units on… Read More

Silver, a Hollywood executive, took his chef and an executive assistant, Musgrove, with his family for their vacation on Bora Bora.  The chef met Musgrove after hours and gave her alcohol and cocaine, after which she went swimming and drowned.  This decision holds that Silver is not vicariously liable for the chef's after hours activities with Musgrove under any of… Read More

For purposes of ERISA plan insurance policies, the Ninth Circuit defines "accident" or "accidental" to mean that the insured did not subjectively expect injury or death to result from his actions--so long as those subjective expectations were reasonable from the insured's perspective.  If the insured's subjective expectation cannot be ascertained, then the court asks whether a reasonable person with a… Read More

A trade dress need not be associated in the public mind with a particular manufacturer or other provider in order to acquire secondary meaning and thus be protectible under the Lanham Act.  It is enough to show that the public thinks the product in that dress comes from a single source, even if the public cannot identify which source that… Read More

LA's COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Ordinance which banned evictions for reasons other than the tenant's fault was not preempted by state law.  A demurrer was properly sustained to the owner's unlawful detainer action which alleged no tenant default but instead claimed the owner wanted to move into the unit himself. Read More

After 601 sued Frum for rent due under his lease, Frym cross-complained against 601, its owner DiCarli, and their attorney, Leoni.  The three cross-defendants brought separate Anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss.  DiCarli's was heard first.  She prevailed and was awarded attorney fees.  Frym then dismissed his claims against 601 and Leoni before their motions were heard.  This decision holds that the… Read More

The alter ego doctrine can be applied to municipal corporations if the factors allowing the doctrine's application to private corporations are satisfied.  Here, plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to show it would be inequitable to recognize the Reclamation Authority's separate existence since that City formed the Authority specifically to avoid liability for remedying the environmental pollution on the site the City… Read More

Following ZF Micro Devices, Inc. v. TAT Capital Partners, Ltd. (2016) 5 Cal.App.5th 69, this decision holds that the filing of the complaint tolls the statute of limitations for all claims the defendant pleads in a cross-complaint, whether compulsory or permissive, so long as the cross-claim was not time-barred at the time the complaint was filed.  This limitations tolling doctrine… Read More

The trial court properly awarded plaintiff elder enhanced damages and attorney fees under the Elder Abuse Act based on defendant's depriving plaintiff of her right under Los Angeles' rent control law to re-rent her apartment after the defendant landlord returned it to the rental market within five years after evicting plaintiff under the Ellis Act.  The statutory right to re-rent… Read More

An heir is not categorically precluded from intervening in a wrongful death suit brought by the personal representative of the decedent's estate.  So long as the heir meets the criteria for intervention, including inadequate representation of his interest by the existing parties, she should be permitted to intervene to protect those interests.  By intervening, the heir does not file a… Read More

Summary judgment for defendant hospital is affirmed.  The doctor who malpracticed in conducting an operation on plaintiff at defendant hospital was not the hospital's actual agent.  The contract between the two expressly denied any agency or employment relationship, and there was no evidence that the hospital exercised any control over the manner in which the doctor treated his patients.  The… Read More

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