Aug 21 California Supreme Court Rules that Insurers Must Honor Post-Loss Assignment of Rights Under Liability Policies

Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court: In an opinion that will likely have a major impact on mergers and acquisitions, the California Supreme Court ruled that an insurance carrier may not use a "consent-to-assign" clause to deny coverage for injuries or damage that occurred before the insured assigned its rights to coverage under a liability policy.

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Aug 10 California Supreme Court Allows Insurer to Sue Independent Counsel Directly for Reimbursement of Defense Costs in "Unusual" Procedural Setting

In a highly-anticipated decision regarding an insurer's rights against an insured's independent counsel, the California Supreme Court has ruled that an insurer may sue independent counsel for reimbursement of excessive defense costs if those costs were paid involuntarily pursuant to a trial-court order that expressly permitted the insurer to "recover payments of excessive fees." Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, ___ Cal. 4th ___ (Aug. 10, 2015).

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Jul 14 California "Fixes" Paid Sick Leave Law

Governor Brown just signed urgency legislation effective immediately fixing some of the problems in California's Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, the Paid Sick Leave Law. Key changes to the Paid Sick Leave Law include...

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Jul 10 San Francisco Ordinances Impose New Requirements for Formula Retail Employers

Effective July 3, 2015, a pair of ordinances known collectively as the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances or the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights (“Ordinances”), places substantial burdens on covered San Francisco employers and limits their flexibility to schedule part-time employees and to hire temporary labor. Although the Ordinances became effective July 3, 2015, key provisions of these acts were recently changed when the Board of Supervisors voted to amend the Ordinances on July 7, 2015. Covered employers are now any entity that operates a Formula Retail Establishment as defined by the Planning Code, has 40 or more Retail Sales Establishments worldwide, and has 20 or more employees in the City of San Francisco.

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Jun 19 Time is Running Out for California Employers to Bring Their Sick Leave Policies Into Compliance

Many California employers are assuming--incorrectly--that because they have an existing paid time off (PTO) or sick leave policy, they do not need to review their policies for compliance with California's new paid sick leave law, which requires paid sick leave starting on July 1, 2015. For example, policies containing these common provisions will not comply with the new law...

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Apr 20 Ninth Circuit Sharply Narrows Enforceability of Jury Waivers in Commercial Contracts

In a decision which narrows the contractual rights of companies doing business in California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled last week that jury trial waivers in contracts signed under California law will not be upheld in federal court, even where those agreements are entered voluntarily and knowingly. In re County of Orange, filed April 16, 2015.

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Apr 02 Recent Legal Developments Require Review of Employee Handbooks

Many employers have employee handbooks that have been passed down through generations of management, or that were obtained through networking or an online search. These handbooks may be legal landmines waiting to explode in litigation. Employers should review their employee handbooks for legal compliance in light of two recent developments.

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Feb 02 Gray1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions, Inc.

In the recently published case, Gray1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions, Inc., the Court of Appeal determined that an attorney’s acceptance of a $13 million certified check covering his client’s entire judgment plus interest prevented the client from also obtaining attorney fees for enforcing the judgment. This meant that the client was out more than $3 million in fees.

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Feb 02 A Cautionary Tale: Should You Turn Down a Check Offered as Satisfaction of Your Judgment?

In the recently published case, Gray1 CPB LLC v. SCC Acquisitions, Inc., the Court of Appeal determined that an attorney's acceptance of a $13 million certified check covering his client's entire judgment plus interest prevented the client from also obtaining attorney fees for enforcing the judgment. This meant that the client was out more than $3 million in fees.

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2014 The End of the Age of Ignorance: Courts Are Becoming Less Tolerant of Lapses and Noncompliance With Discovery Obligations Involving Electronically Stored Information

A recent federal case illustrates increasing expectations of courts in civil discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). In Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, No. 2:13-cv-00298-APG, 2014 WL 4079507 (D. Nev. 2014), a Special Master appointed by the court recommended that draconian and severe sanctions be imposed on a large corporation for its massive failure to comply with its obligations to preserve, identify, maintain, retain and collect ESI, including e-mails and text messages on its servers, company mobile phones, company-issued personal mobile devices (such as laptops, tablets and smart phones), and internal accounting, financial and employee timekeeping records.

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