by
A trustee's acts in recording a notice of default, a notice of sale, and a trustee's deed upon sale in the course of a nonjudicial foreclosure are privileged under Civil Code section 47. The Court of Appeal held that plaintiff did not state a cause of action for slander of title based on the recording of those documents. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court's order sustaining a demurrer to plaintiff's slander of title claim without leave to amend. View "Schep v. Capital One" on Justia Law

by
The date upon which the cause of action would be deemed to have accrued within the meaning of the Government Claims Act's, Gov. Code, 810 et seq., statute of limitations is the date on which a plaintiff discovers or should reasonably have discovered that she had suffered a compensable injury. The trial court overruled the City's demurrer to a complaint, arguing that the real parties in interest failed to comply with the claim presentation requirement of the Act by not presenting their claim to the City within six months. The Court of Appeal held that the parties in interest presented their claim to the City more than 10 months after the date upon which the cause of action accrued and thus failed to comply with the claim presentation requirement. Accordingly, the court granted the City's petition for writ of mandate. View "City of Pasadena v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

by
There is no equal protection violation for the procedural difference between when a supervising agency files a petition to modify, revoke, or terminate a criminal defendant’s parole or postrelease community supervision, its petition must be accompanied by a written report containing information specified by statute and the California Rules of Court, and when a district attorney files such a petition, its petition need not be accompanied by such a report. Therefore, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court correctly overruled the demurrer in this case. View "People v. Castel" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff Aristea Hupp (Aristea) appealed after the trial court granted defendants Solera Oak Valley Greens Association and City of Beaumont Animal Control Officer Jack Huntsman’s ex parte application to dismiss Aristea’s first amended complaint (FAC) as a vexatious litigant. Aristea argued: (1) the trial court’s order granting Solera’s ex parte application to dismiss deprived her of her due process rights to notice and an opportunity to be heard; (2) Solera waived its vexatious litigant defense by not raising it in its first responsive pleading; and (3) under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (Davis-Stirling Act), she was authorized to seek recovery of damages sustained by her son, Paul Hupp (Paul), from violations of Solera’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). In 2014, Paul was declared a vexatious litigant. In 2015, Aristea and Paul filed a complaint against Solera over enforcing a community rule regarding muzzling of Pit Bulls on properties within the Solera community. The Hupps walked their dogs through the community without a muzzle. The Hupps argued the rule was only applied to the Hupps, and that Solera could not single out any one breed. After review, the Court of Appeal affirmed dismissal as to all claims alleged in the FAC which were brought by or for the benefit of Paul, on the ground he has been declared a vexatious litigant. Because Aristea had not been declared a vexatious litigant, the judgment of dismissal was reversed as to all claims in the FAC that were solely personal to Aristea. View "Hupp v. Solera Oak Valley Greens Assn." on Justia Law

by
Defendant was convicted of 11 counts related to a corruption scandal involving the City of Bell. The Court of Appeals held that the jury could reasonably have concluded that defendant was criminally negligent by failing to take steps to determine whether the loans at issue were authorized. However, the court reversed the five convictions for misappropriation of public funds because the jury instructions were erroneous in light of People v. Hubbard, (2016) 63 Cal.4th 378. Hubbard was issued after defendant's trial and clarified the scope of Penal Code section 424. Furthermore, the error was not harmless. The court affirmed the conflict of interest conviction based on her involvement in changing Bell's pension plan because amendments to the pension plan effectively modified the terms of defendant's employment with Bell, and constituted the making of a contract within the meaning of Government Code section 1090. The court remanded for further proceedings, including correction of the abstract of judgment to delete references to defendant's current or prior serious or violent felony convictions. View "People v. Spaccia" on Justia Law

by
On remand from the California Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal applied the analysis mandated by Los Angeles County Bd. of Supervisors v. Superior Court, (2016) 2 Cal.5th 282, 300, and considered supplemental briefs from the parties. In this case, the ACLU sought disclosure under the California Public Records Act (PRA) of billing invoices sent to the County by its outside attorneys. The superior court granted the ACLU's petition for writ of mandate and compelled disclosure, and the County challenged that decision via a petition for a writ of mandate in this court. The court granted the County's writ petition and remanded for further proceedings. View "County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

by
In a challenge to a Workers' Compensation Appeals Board order, the Court of Appeal held that a writ petition was timely filed. The court also held that despite significant changes in the law governing workers' compensation in 2004, disability resulting from medical treatment for which the employer is responsible is not subject to apportionment. In this case, petitioner contended that because her permanent total disability was the result of a failed surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition she contracted primarily due to the clerical work she performed for Costco for more than 25 years, apportionment was not appropriate. The court annuled the Board's order and remanded for an increase in petitioner's disability award. View "Hikida v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board" on Justia Law

by
Nelson, an attorney specializing in asbestos defense, was employed by Tucker Ellis. In 2009, Nelson became a “non-capital partner.” Gradient was retained by Tucker Ellis to assist in litigation. Nelson exchanged emails with Gradient consultants about medical research articles relating to smoking and/or radiation (rather than asbestos) as causes of mesothelioma. After Nelson left Tucker Ellis in 2011, the law firm was served with a subpoena, seeking the production of all communications between Tucker, Ellis and Gradient regarding the research. Tucker Ellis produced the attorney work product emails authored by Nelson. After Nelson was subpoenaed for deposition, he wrote a “clawback” letter to Tucker Ellis, asserting the emails contained his privileged attorney work product and demanding they be sequestered and returned to him. Nelson sought a determination that Tucker Ellis had a legal duty to protect his attorney work product from improper disclosure to third parties Code of Civil Procedure section 2018.030. The court of appeal reversed the trial court, concluding that the holder of the attorney work product privilege is the employer law firm, Tucker Ellis, not Nelson, and had no legal duty to secure Nelson’s permission before it disclosed documents he created in the scope of his employment. View "Tucker Ellis LLP v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

by
Petitioners filed a tort action alleging that Beats Electronics had engaged in a fraudulent scheme to deprive them of their interest in the company. The trial court granted summary judgment for Beats and subsequently entered an order directing that the amount of Beats' attorney's fees be resolved through a notice motion. Petitionerss filed a petition for writ of mandate seeking an order directing the trial court to vacate its order, and enter a new order granting them a jury trial on the issue of attorney's fees. After issuing an order to show cause, the Court of Appeal granted the petition. The court held that the trial court erred in denying petitioners' requests for a jury trial on Beats' contract damages. In this case, Monster had a right to have a jury determine the amount of attorney's fees resulting from its alleged breach of the Termination Agreement and the 2013 Unit Repurchase Agreement. View "Monster, LLC v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

by
Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, Toyota, for discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov. Code, 12900 et seq., as well as for wrongful discharge. The trial court granted summary judgment for Toyota. The Court of Appeal reversed and held that plaintiff presented sufficient evidence that a substantial motivating factor for his termination was invidious sex or gender stereotyping related to his sexual orientation (the perception that he was "too gay"). However, the court held that plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of material fact to support his FEHA retaliation and related common law tort claim. Accordingly, the court remanded for the trial court to enter an order granting Toyota's alternative motion for summary adjudication as to these causes of action. View "Husman v. Toyota Motor Credit Corp." on Justia Law