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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Do You Have to Pay Employees to Be On-Call and For Sleep Time?

Posted by Daniel Klingenberger on

An on-going class action lawsuit against a security guard company seeks compensation for time the guards spent sleeping in company provided housing units and for time the guards were on-call. In the recent decision of Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc. (2013) Cal. App. Lexis 528, a California Court of Appeal decision addressed the challenging […]

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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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Employee or independent contractor?–State doesn’t get do-over on new claim of wage statement violations.

Posted by Ronald Henderson on

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) are two state agencies that enforce the law concerning what each finds to be “employment” by issuing assessments and penalties respectively against employers. In each instance, the state agency’s determination is subject to administrative review including the determination of whether […]

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Manufacturer of grinder has no liability for nor duty to warn of grinder’s use with blade expressly excluded from intended use of grinder.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Sanchez v. Hitachi Koki, Co., Ltd. (filed 7/9/13) 2013 DJDAR 8970, plaintiff sued the manufacturer of a grinder for personal injuries resulting from plaintiff’s use of a saw blade manufactured by a third party. The grinder’s safety manual and instructions expressly warned that saw blades should not be used with the grinder. Plaintiff was […]

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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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Good News for Employers in California Employment Discrimination Cases

Posted by Micah Nilsson on

In February, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that may help employers defend against employment discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In Harris v. City of Santa Monica, the Supreme Court of California heightened the standard that employees must meet to prove discrimination and authorized the use of […]

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Does laches bar beneficiary’s action filed after settlor’s death contesting capacity to amend trust when issue known long before death?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Drake v. Pinkham (published 6/21/13) 2013 DJDAR 8028, appellant and respondent were the surviving daughters of mother, the settlor of a revocable trust. Their father and mother had a living trust that provided upon one’s death there would be a split into a survivor’s trust to support the survivor, and a family trust that […]

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May City avoid, based on policymaking powers, collectively bargained MOU arbitration regarding grievance over mandatory employee furloughs?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court ( filed 6/21/13) S192828, City, after declaring a fiscal emergency, placed civilian employees on a mandatory unpaid furlough requiring one less 8-hour work day during each 80-hour work period. Employees filed grievances. Wage and hour provisions of the collectively bargained MOU provided that employees would be compensated […]

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Where law firm represents a company and a member against another member of the company giving rise to hypothetical conflict of interest, but no actual conflict or reasonable likelihood exists, must law firm be disqualified?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

I am becoming more and more convinced that trial courts should be more restrained in disqualifying law firms based on mere appearances of potential conflicts of interest. That certainly seems to be the message in a trend of appellate cases. And I may have been a participant in this trend, when I authored the opinion […]

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