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California Real Estate Law
Legal Issues Involving California Real Estate
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Fees/Costs Order Reversed In Public Records Act Request.

After a child was rendered permanently disabled following an accident that occurred when she was in a crosswalk, her family hired counsel. Under the Public Records Act [Government Code section 6250, et seq.; PRA], counsel requested all evidence incl...
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Directed Verdict In Civil Rights Action Reversed.

More than a dozen Halloween partygoers were swept up and detained by a Sheriff’s SWAT team for up to 14 hours. The party, an annual event with hundreds of costumed attendees, had drawn neighbor complaints over the years. Based on a flyer that adver...
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Provision Requiring Club Members To Arbitrate Disputes Too Late.

In Cobb v. Ironwood Country Club (Cal. App. Fourth Dist. Div. 3; January 28, 2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 960, [183 Cal.Rptr.3d 282], the defendant club amended its bylaws to include a provision requiring club members to arbitrate disputes, four  months a...
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Can A Court Intervene In An Ongoing Arbitration.

The Ninth Circuit discussed the ability of a court to intervene in an ongoing arbitration in Sussex v. United States Dist. Court for the Dist. of Nev. (Ninth Cir.; January 27, 2015) 776 F.3d 1092. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/...
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Call Me This And Call Me That, But Call Yourself. . .Outside The Jurisdiction Of California.

In a Facebook spat between skin care product competitors, one sued the other for defamation. Plaintiff resides in California, but defendant does not. The appellate court held that posting defamatory statements about another person on Facebook, “whi...
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Evidentiary Errors And Attorney Misconduct During Trial Result In Reversal Of $1.2 Million Verdict.

During a test drive of a brand new BMW, the prospective purchaser, the defendant here, crashed and totaled the car and injured the salesman, the plaintiff. A jury awarded plaintiff $1.2 million. Citing evidentiary errors and attorney misconduct, the ...
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No Prohibition Of Recording Birth Date Of Person Who Buys Alcohol With A Credit Card.

Plaintiff filed a class action for damages under the Credit Card Act [Civil Code section 1747.08], one of the provisions of which prohibits businesses from requesting that cardholders provide personal identification information during credit card tra...
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“No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:” Clare Boothe Luce.

A civil engineer, the cross-defendant herein, was hired to prepare plans to build a pier. His plans called for a very particular kind of concrete mixture, which concrete was supplied by defendant/cross-complainant. After defendant/cross-complainant p...
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It’s Not Nice To Fool The State Bar.

A lawyer affirmed she had satisfied compliance with her Minimum Continuing Legal Education [MCLE] requirements when in fact she had not. Caught in the net of a random audit, the lawyer said she was previously mistaken and corrected the error. The Off...
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Motion For Class Certification Denied.

The trial court denied class certification in a wage and hour case, and the appellate court, finding no abuse of discretion, affirmed. The crux of the analysis was that the employer had express written policies regarding work and meal breaks, but tha...
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The Law Changed After The Demurrer Was Sustained But Before The Appeal Was Heard.

The director of a clinical laboratory informed executive staff and owners of the lab that there were numerous violations of state and federal laws in the lab’s operations. The director was terminated, and thereafter, filed suit alleging violation o...
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No Showing Electronic Signature Was That Of Plaintiff, So Motion To Compel Arbitration Denied.

In a class action wage and hour action, the trial court denied defendant’s petition to compel arbitration, implicitly finding defendant did not present evidence to support its claim there was an arbitration agreement. At the hearing, defendant asse...
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Not Everything In Mediation Is Confidential.

Husband and wife resolved their marital dissolution in mediation after exchanging financial disclosure declarations. Shortly after entry of judgment, the husband sold a company, which he listed on his financial disclosure document of having a value o...
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Abandoned Alien Child.

An abandoned, neglected or abused child who is not a citizen of the USA may be found to be a special immigrant juvenile [SIJ] which may serve as a first step in filing for citizenship in the USA. (8 U.S.C. § 1101 (a)(27)(J)). These children no longe...
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Social Security Funds In Bank Account Protected From Levy.

When a creditor served a writ of execution to levy funds in the debtor’s bank account, the debtor submitted a claim of exemption to the writ, asserting the funds in the account were Social Security payments exempt from levy under 42 U.S.C. § 407. ...
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Does Application Of The "Honest Belief" Defense To A CFRA Claim Deprive An Employee Of An Unwaivable Statutory Right?

In Richey v. AutoNation, Inc. (Cal. Sup. Ct.; January 29, 2015) 60 Cal.4th 909, [182 Cal.Rptr.3d 644, 341 P.3d 438], the California Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of whether an arbitrator's presumably erroneous interpretation of the Moore-Brown...
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Employer's Petition To Compel Arbitration Denied.

In Montano v. Wet Seal Retail, Inc. (Cal. App. Second Dist. Div. 4; Januanry 7, 2015) (As Mod. January 13, 2015) 232 Cal.App.4th 1214, [182 Cal.Rptr.3d 220], an arbitration agreement drafted by an employer provided that the employee waived the righ...
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Nominal Damages Did Not Support Award Of Attorney Fees In Real Property Dispute.

This case involves a vineyard versus winery boundary dispute. After a bench trial, the court ruled in favor of the vineyard, quieted title, granted injunctive relief, awarded $1 in damages for past trespass and awarded the vineyard $117,000 in attorn...
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Recognition Of A Foreign Judgment.

A trial court may recognize a foreign judgment under the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act [CCP § 1713-1724]. But, despite the legality of 20 percent interest in the foreign jurisdiction, California may not enter a California j...
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After Partial Payment In Medical Malpractice Action, Patient Was Not Informed Of Statute Of Limitations.

After surgery, a patient suffered an infection. The bacteria that infected the patient’s knee apparently survived the sterilization process at the surgical facility. The bacteria was found on a surgical sponge. The doctor paid the patient $4,118.23...
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Former Football Players Want To Be Paid For The Use Of Their Likenesses In Video Games.

Both the trial and appeals courts were called upon to “balance the right of publicity of former professional football players against [a video game company’s] First Amendment right to use their likenesses in its Madden NFL series of video games.
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Printed Name At The Bottom Of Several E-mails Not Enough To Show There Was A Settlement.

Plaintiffs filed a motion pursuant of Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, to enforce a settlement. In concluding there was a settlement, the trial court found e-mails coupled with a voice mail qualified as an electronic signature under the Uniform...
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Defendant Waived Arbitration By Propounding Discovery.

In a wage and hour case filed as a class action, instead of petitioning for arbitration outright, the employer defendant answered the complaint, asserting the plaintiff’s claims were subject to arbitration. The defendant proceeded to both respond t...
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Printed Name At The Bottom Of An Email Not Enough To Show There Was A Settlement.

Plaintiffs filed a motion pursuant of Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, to enforce a settlement. In concluding there was a settlement, the trial court found e-mails couple with a voice mail qualified as an electronic signature under the Uniform ...
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Dismissal Of Action Ordered Vacated So Defendant May Seek Attorney Fees.

A plaintiff may dismiss an action without prejudice prior to trial and there is no prevailing party for purposes of awarding attorney fees under Civil Code section 1717. But in the present case, while there was indeed a contract which provided for an...
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