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Before a nonjudicial foreclosure sale, the borrower/owner filed a worngful foreclosure suit against the deed of trust beneficiary and recorded a lis pendens.  This case holds that the purchaser at the nonjudicial foreclosure sale who thereafter brought an unlawful detainer action against the borrower/owner was wrongly awarded judgment because it did not prove it duly perfected title given the lis… Read More

This decision reverses a summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer against the plaintiff employee nurse who sued individually and under PAGA for violation of Labor Code sections on rest and meal breaks and payment of all wages due on termination.  The employer failed to meet its burden of proving plaintiff's claims were time barred.  While she may not… Read More

This opinion reverses an electrician's $12.6 million judgment for injuries he sustained due to a defective roof access hatch which was defective and slammed shut on his back herniating several discs.  The Privette doctrine barred the plaintiff's recovery.  He was a worker employed by a licensed contractor whom the property owner had hired.  The defects in the roof hatch were… Read More

Under Gov. Code 800(a), a plaintiff that successfully challenges an administrative decision that was the result of arbitrary or capricious action or conduct by a public entity or officer may recover attorney fees of up to $7,500 in the trial court's discretion.  Even if that statute requires the overturned administrative action to be "wholly" arbitrary and capricious, it does not… Read More

Plaintiff prevailed on a mandate petition challenging his one-year suspension from UC Davis for violating its policies against sexual harassment and assault.  The trial court found that the university lacked evidence of sufficiently serious misconduct to support the one-year suspension.  This decision holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that plaintiff was not entitled to… Read More

A bankruptcy trustee may avoid prospective liability for premises liability on property of the bankrupt estate by abandoning the property to the debtor.  However, the abandonment will not operate retrospectively to absolve the trustee of liability for injuries a visitor to the property suffered before the trustee abandoned the property.  Also, the Barton doctrine (Barton v. Barbour (1881) 104 U.S.… Read More

If the tenant surrenders possession, an unlawful detainer action is converted into a normal civil action.  At that point, but not before, the tenant can file a cross-complaint.  This decision holds that the tenant does not waive or forfeit cross-claims against the landlord by not pleading them initially in response to the unlawful detainer complaint or by surrendering possession before… Read More

This decision vacates an arbitration award for misconduct by the arbitrator in discrediting the defendant's primary witness' testimony because she askeds for an interpreter during the arbitration though she had been in the US and conducted sophisticated business dealings here for decades.  The arbitrator’s credibility finding rested on unacceptable misconceptions about English proficiency and language acquisition and gave rise to… Read More

A civil harassment order is affirmed due to deficiencies of the pro per appellant's opening brief.  It didn't separately state and title its arguments or support them with authority and citations to the record.  Insofar as it attacked the sufficiency of the evidence, it failed to set forth a fair recital of all the relevant evidence. Read More

An unadopted stepchild may establish that the decedent was his parent for purposes of distribution of his intestate estate by proving the requirements set forth in either the Uniform Parentage Act (Fam. Code 7600 et seq.) which is incorporated by reference by Prob. Code 6453 or the separate requirements of Prob. Code 6454.  So the lack of a legal barrier… Read More

Without deciding between CalOSHA's two tests for employer liability for harmfully exposing employees to atmospheric contaminant--i.e., the "harmful exposure" standard which requires proof of exposure to airborne contaminant that actually result in or have a probability of resulting in illness, or the "zone of danger" standard (i.e., that it is reasonably predictable by operational necessity or otherwise, including inadvertence, that… Read More

The trial court erred in excluding plaintiff's expert witness from testifying about the causal connection between the mold in her apartment and her physical ailments.  The trial court exercises an important gatekeeping role in ensuring that an expert's opinion is based on reliable evidence and sound reasoning.  However,  the factual basis of an expert opinion goes to the credibility of… Read More

Seyfarth was hired to investigate a professor's claim that she was discriminated against by Cal. State University Fullerton.  It performed the investigation and submitted a report to the university administration concluding there was no merit to the professor's claims. After unsuccessfully suing a host of other defendants, the professor sued Seyfarth, claiming the report and investigation were biased, etc.  Seyfarth… Read More

Sticking with this court's prior decision in Marina Pacific Hotel & Suites, LLC v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. (2022) 81 Cal.App.5th 96, this decision holds (in an unpublished portion) that the presence of COVID-19 particles on surfaces of an insured's building is sufficient physical loss or damage to real property to allow coverage for business interruption.  In the published portion… Read More

In a nice mirror image of Chelios v. Kaye (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 75, 80, this decision holds that since a contract is merged into the judgment on a breach of contract claim, a provision of the contract limiting attorney fee awards to $1,000 does not limit the fees that may be awarded to the prevailing plaintiff under CCP 685.040 as… Read More

This decision holds that Prob. Code 448 and 1043 apply to trust proceedings, allowing interested parties that are not the trustee or the beneficiary to appear and object to a petition in a trust proceeding if it has a property right in or claim against a trust estate which might be affected by the proceeding. Read More

Plaintiff recovered less than defendant's 998 offer.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding defendant (a) $12,000 for an expert witness' two days of trial testimony, and (b) $6,000 in court reporter fees for real-time transcription of the trial proceedings. Read More

Defendant denied requests for admission that certain hospital records were authentic and business records.  This decision holds that the trial court erred in failing to award plaintiff the cost of proving the records were business records under CCP 2033.420. The trial court erred in denying those costs on the ground that plaintiff did not prove the records were business records… Read More

Three parcels of real property were owned 50-50 by two trusts established by different trustors and both were administered by the same trustee.  Charitable organizations were the sole beneficiaries of both trusts.  The museum that was the sole beneficiary of one of the trusts wanted the properties distributed in kind to avoid adverse tax consequences.  The beneficiaries of the other… Read More

This decision affirms a prejudgment attachment order.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the parties had not amended a fully integrated written contract which provided that all amendments had to be signed and in writing.  Under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (CC 1633.1 et seq.), it is not enough to show that a document was… Read More

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