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Business Litigator, Mediator
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The Decision Was Not A Surprise. Kindred Nursing Centers L.P v. Clark, No. 16-32 (US S.Ct. 5/15/17) (Kagan, J.) holds that Kentucky's "clear-statement rule" violates the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment. Kentucky's "clear-statement rule" provides that, because the Kentucky constitution declares rights of access... Continue reading
As "Joint Employer", Company To Which An Employee Was Assigned Could Take Advantage Of Arbitration Clause In Employee's Contract With Temporary Staffing Agency That Assigned The Employee To The Company. I am happy to report that Garcia v. Pexco, LLC, G052872 (4/3 5/16/17), an opinion I posted about on April... Continue reading
The King vs. Medieval Knights . . . Plaintiff Scott Ehredt, a performer in medieval style games at Medieval Knights, sued claiming that Medieval Knights had misappropriated his likeness in advertising images, notwithstanding a release that he had provided. The matter was arbitrated, and after receiving an adverse award, Mr.... Continue reading
Arbitrator And Appeals Board Did Not Address Whether Rescission Was A Meritorious Defense To Employee's Claim. Southern Insurance Company rescinded an insurance policy based on violation of a representation that covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, after an employee injured out of state made a workers' comp... Continue reading
The Neighbor Feud Had Gone On Since 2002. Wandering Elk, Dakota Indian, smokes peacepipe. c1903. Frank Bennett Fiske, photographer. Library of Congress. The Court of Appeals' reliance on the wisdom of a Croatian proverb offered a strong clue in the first sentence that the Court would enforce peace among feuding... Continue reading
The Unconscionable Provision Permitted Only The Defendant To Seek Equitable And Injunctive Relief In A Court Of Law. In Enyong v. Westlake Services, LLC et al., B275952 (2/5 4/24/17) (Kriegler, Baker, Dunning) (unpublished), the Court of Appeal concluded that an arbitration provision contained only one unconscionable term, which was severable.... Continue reading
Equitable Estoppel And Agency Theories Required The Employee To Arbitrate With The Non-Signatory Company. I suspect that that the facts in our next case are far from unique. In Garcia v. Pexco, LLC, G052872 (4/3 4/24/17) (Ikola, Aronson, Thompson) (unpublished), plaintiff Garcia was hired by Real Time, a temporary staffing... Continue reading
Bon Ton Burlesquers. c1898. Library of Congress. The Court of Appeal applies a de novo standard of review to arbitrator disclosure issues (unless the trial court’s decision is based upon disputed facts, in which case a substantial evidence standard or review applies). In Mitchell Anthony Productions LLC v. Jennifer Hamilton,... Continue reading
There Is A Connection To ADR . . . My review of Professor Catherine L. Fisk's excellent new book, Writing for Hire: Unions, Hollywood and Madison Avenue (Harvard University Press 2016) appears in the latest volume of California Litigation: The Journal of the Litigation Section, State Bar of California (vol.... Continue reading
Nor Is There Federal Arbitration Act Preemption. In a long-awaited and important decision, the California Supreme Court addresses the validity of a provision in a predispute arbitration agreement that waives the right to seek "public injunctive relief" as a statutory remedy in any forum. McGill v. Citibank, N.A., No. S224086... Continue reading
The The Wrinkle Here Is That The Prevailing Party Claimed She Did Not Need To Satisfy The Condition Precedent Because She Never Signed The Contract. Standard real estate purchase and sale agreements in California, e.g., California Association of Realtors forms, include a provision requiring mediation as a condition precedent that... Continue reading
Recommended Reading: Two Articles By Rebecca J. Callahan In The Orange County Lawyer Provide Helpful Tips For Drafting Arbitration Clauses. Mediator and arbitrator Rebecca J. Callahan is the author of two very clear and concise articles about drafting arbitration clauses. "Arbitration Clauses: Hot Questions and Cool Answers", which appeared in... Continue reading
As Arbitration Clauses Proliferate, So Too Do Motions Concerning Enforcement Of Those Clauses. I have not done a statistical study, but it is certainly my perception that in recent years there is more and more law and motion practice concerning the enforceability of arbitration clauses in California courts. First, the... Continue reading
No Appeal From Order Denying Motion To Vacate Arbitration Award. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal without prejudice in Porter v. AG Arcadia, LLC, No. B276183 (2/5 2/28/17) (Turner, Kriegler, Kin) (unpublished). Defendants appealed from an order denying a motion to vacate an arbitration award. The problem? "No appeal... Continue reading
A Variety Of Articles Discuss Mediation And Arbitration In March 20, 2017 Special Report. A March 20, 2016 Special Report of The New York Law Journal covers diverse topics including collaborative divorce, a proposed New York rule that might make arbitration "truly confidential", diversity in ADR, solving interpersonal problems in... Continue reading
Vacating The Award Would Have Required That The Arbitrator Be Actually Aware Of A Ground For Disqualification That The Arbitrator Did Not Disclose. ECC Capital, a former client of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP (Manatt) appealed from a superior court judgment confirming a final arbitration award of almost $7M against... Continue reading
The Employee Brought A Single Cause Of Action For PAGA Violations. At first blush, Betancourt v. Prudential Overall Supply, E064326 (4/2 March 3, 2017) (Miller, Ramirez, McKinster), another opinion holding that PAGA claims cannot be arbitrated (more about the holding), is unremarkable. However, there are interesting points in the case... Continue reading
Reaching A Result Justice Scalia Would Have Approved By Means He Would Not Have Approved? Edith Roberts is the author of a very interesting March 6, 2017 post in Scotusblog about an otherwise bone dry topic, entitled, "Judge Gorsuch's arbitration jurisprudence." Our takeaway: "[A] look at the arbitration rulings Gorsuch... Continue reading
A Modest Proposal That Mediation May Be The Best Way To Tackle Disputes Among Clients Who Are Jointly Represented. In the latest issue of Orange County Lawyer (March 2017, Vol. 59, No. 3, p. 46), the publication of the Orange County Bar Association, I have written an article entitled, "Mediating... Continue reading
Case Is A Reminder That Ordinary Constitutional Guarantees Of Due Process Do Not Automatically Exist In Private Arbitration. The Court of Appeal's summary of the facts in our next case provides a clear sign that it is headed towards a reversal – the interesting part is how it arrives at... Continue reading
Argument Is Summarized In SCOTUSblog. On February 23, 2017, Professor Ronald Mann of Columbia Law School provided argument analysis in SCOTUSblog of yesterday's oral argument in Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark. By the tenor of the argument, which appears to have been hostile to Kentucky's position that the... Continue reading
The Important Distinction Is Whether Fraud In The Inducement Applies To The Contract Or To The Arbitration Clause. Though unpublished, Milder v. Holley, B267974 (2/5 1/31/17) (Kumar, Kriegler, Baker) has facts that neatly clarify an important gateway issue: does a judge or an arbitrator get to decide whether there was... Continue reading
The Arbitration Clause Analyzed By The Court Is Common In Automobile Sales Contracts. The Arbitration Clause analyzed in Raczynski v. Daland Nissan, Inc., et al., A146992 (1/5 2/15/17) (Bruiniers, Jones, Needham) (unpublished), provides that the arbitrator's award "shall be final and binding on all parties, except that in the event... Continue reading
Where Statutory Violations Are Alleged, Presumption Of Arbitrability Applying To Contractual Disputes Arising Out Of A Collective Bargaining Agreement Does Not Apply. Collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) are a different animal requiring close scrutiny when the question of arbitrability arises in an employment dispute. In Vasserman v. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial... Continue reading
Panel Rejects Employee's Arguments That Six Provisions Are Unconscionable, Requires Severance Of "Judicial Carve-Out" Provision, And Punts On "Reaffirmation Clause" Provision. Poublon v. C.H. Robinson Company, et al., No. 15-55143 (9th Cir. 2/3/17) (Ikuta, Callahan, Bea) is an opinion that employers will likely cite when arguing against employee claims that... Continue reading