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Does owner of business premises owe duty to protect family members of persons who work there from secondary exposure to asbestos incurred by worker on premises, but exposed to family members away from premises?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Haver v. BNSF Railway Co. (filed 6/3/14) B246527, Lynn Haver contracted mesothelioma and died as a result of secondary exposure to asbestos. Her former husband was exposed to products and equipment containing asbestos while working for defendant’s predecessor railway company in the 1970’s. Asbestos evidently adhered to his clothing, and then was transferred to […]

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Is NBC entitled to a peremptory grant of mandate directing summary judgment where television program aired more than two years prior to filing of purported creators’ complaint for breach of implied contract?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Whenever I lecture on writ practice, the question inevitably arises whether the appellate courts ever grant writ relief compelling the grant of a summary judgment motion denied in the trial court. My answer: rarely, mostly because, if the moving party is correct, it will prevail at trial; and, if it doesn’t, it still has the […]

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May employee sue for whistleblower retaliation under the federal False Claims Act in state court, and have that right decided in a petition for extraordinary relief?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Driscoll v. Superior Court (filed 1/30/14) 2014 DJDAR 11270, the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, answered yes on both counts, issuing a writ of mandate instructing the state trial court to overrule the demurrer it had previously sustained without leave to amend. Driscoll had been employed as a medical doctor with real party […]

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May law firm that represented now-deceased spouses in preparing their wills and trusts represent trustees against wife’s personal representative?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Rulings on motions to disqualify opposing counsel have in recent months and years regularly found their way into the appellate courts. Some of these reviews have been by way of appeal as appealable injunctive orders. Others have taken the petition for writ of mandate route. The latter route was taken in Fiduciary Trust International of […]

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May a trial court award defendant expert witness fees under CCP section 998 after plaintiff declined offer and then dismissed action?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

California Code of Civil Procedure section 998, subdivision (c) (1) states, “If an offer made by a defendant is not accepted, and the plaintiff fails to obtain a more favorable judgment or award . . . the court or arbitrator . . . in its discretion, may require the plaintiff to pay a reasonable sum […]

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ABA Journal Blawg 100 Amici

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

I wish to extend to those of you who have utilized this blog as a resource to go to the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 Amici web page. You will see that the ABA is working on its annual list of 100 best legal blogs. If you think this blog qualifies, please fill out the form […]

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Must on-call, 24-hour, live-in employees be compensated by their employer for hourly wages for the full 24-hour shift including sleep time?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (filed 7/3/13) B240519, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, gives a Solomon-like answer. In this class action, the plaintiffs are trailer guards employed by defendant to provide around-the-clock security at construction sites. During the nighttime periods, defendant considered the trailer guards “on call” and generally […]

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What are the risks of filing an appeal as a tool to force settlement?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Kleveland v. Siegel & Wolensky, LLP (filed 4/17/13) 2013 DJDAR 4961, the appellate court answered this question with a stinging rebuke: where there was no arguable merit to the initial probate petition and appeal, the court awarded attorney fees and sanctions totaling more than $60,000 against the appellant’s attorneys in the later appeal of […]

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“Shall” is not always mandatory language; LA County not required to capture pit bulls because whether “hazard” is discretionary decision under immunity statute

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

California Government Code section 815.6 exempts a public entity from immunity if it has failed to discharge a statutory “mandatory duty” designed to protect from injury. Los Angeles County Code (LACC section 10.12.090C states that the county animal care and control department “shall capture and take into custody . . . [a]ny animal being kept […]

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