If value of community assets is shown, managing spouse must prove proper disposition or lesser value

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

“It’s the bad economy” has become the all-too-frequent, yet mostly accurate, cry heard when a party is called upon to explain the decrease, or even total loss, in value of a disputed asset. In litigation over community assets in a marital dissolution, this explanation may not suffice, as is emphasized in the recent California Court […]

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Cruise line’s duty to warn of danger limited to uniqueness of maritime travel or known risks

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Vacationing on a cruise ship is a favorite activity for many Californians. But traveling to unfamiliar locales can present dangers. A recent United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit case discusses what a passenger should or should not expect to be warned about by the cruise line. In Samuels v. Holland American Line-USA Inc. (filed […]

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Harassing activity committed by employer-defendant outside plaintiff’s presence admissible to show intent

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Most lawyers remember from their law school course in evidence the cardinal notion that a plaintiff or prosecutor should not be allowed to present evidence to show defendant is a bad person. But if this propensity evidence is offered for some other relevant purpose, it may be admissible. A recent opinion from California’s Court of […]

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What to Do With A “Moot” Appeal

Posted by Dowling Aaron on

A California Court of Appeal just came down with an interesting case regarding mootness. In Coalition for a Sustainable Future in Yucaipa v. City of Yucaipa, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (4th Dist. No. E047624, 8/25/11), plaintiff sued the city, Target, and the developer to enjoin its approval of a new shopping center. Plaintiff claimed that the […]

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Another chapter on punitive damages: California’s Bullock v. Philip Morris

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Since the United States Supreme Court decided State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Campbell (2003) 538 U.S. 408, legal scholars have debated the use of the corporate defendant’s wealth and prior conduct in assessing punitive damages, and the stringency/flexibility of the high court’s stated constitutional limitations (“few awards exceeding a single digit ratio between […]

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Collateral source rule in California: injured plaintiffs barred recovery of value of medical services in excess of bargained rate paid by insurance

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The California Supreme has filed its opinion after months of speculation in the legal community about the reach of the collateral source rule. In Howell v. Hamilton Meats (filed August 18, 2010), the court held an injured plaintiff whose medical expenses are paid through private insurance may recover as economic damages no more that the […]

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Is that “sabbatical” in your employment contract really a “vacation?”

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Employers should know the answer to this question is particularly important when an employee leaves and claims a right to deferred compensation. California Labor Code sections 227.3 require employers to pay employees the balance of “vested vacation time” unused as wages. The California Supreme Court has explained what is meant by vested vacation time: whatever […]

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JLo wins right to arbitrate claim ex-husband and agent plan video disparaging her

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Long before there was Marc Anthony, there was Ojani Noa. Now that Jennifer Lopez is apparently amicably ending her 7-year marriage to Marc Anthony, the battle with her first husband, Noa continues. Lopez requested arbitration of the complaint she filed against Noa and his agent Ed Meyer regarding their collaborative attempts to produce and sell […]

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Employee handbook not a good place for an arbitration clause: ruled unenforceable as “take it or leave it”

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

We have here yet another opinion where an arbitration clause strikes out. Not surprising, in the light of the California Supreme Court “crack-down” more than a decade ago in Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83, 114. Zullo v. Superior Court (filed June 21, 2011, certified for publication July 12, 2011) […]

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