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Southern California
Business Litigator, Mediator
Recent Activity
Intervening Supreme Court Law Means Earlier Ninth Circuit Law Is No Longer Good Law. ERISA claims may be the subject of mandatory arbitration: that's the holding and threshold issue in Dorman v. Charles Schwab Corp., 18-15281 (9th Cir. 8/20/19) (Pearson, Gould, Ikuta). To reach this result, the panel needed to... Continue reading
Court Of Appeal Distinguishes The Broughton-Cruz Rule. Clifford v. Quest Software, Inc., G055858 (4/3 8/14/19) (Aronson, O'Leary, Goethals) addresses, "whether an employee's claim against his employer for unfair competition under Business and Professions Code section 17200 (the UCL) is arbitrable." Assuming the arbitration clause is valid and enforceable, the Court... Continue reading
Fourth District, Division 1 Agrees With Conclusions Of Lawson and Zakaryan Courts. The employer in Mejia v. Merchants Building Maintenance, LLC, D074620 (4/1 8/13/19) (Aaron, Benke, Huffman), tried to do what other employers have attempted: compel arbitration of the "victim-specific" relief portion of a PAGA claim. Appellate courts are divided... Continue reading
And The Court Explains How The Stipulated Judgment Could Have Been Structured So As To Be Enforceable. "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the stipulated judgment constitutes an unenforceable penalty." Red & White Distribution, LLC, et al. v. Osteroid Enterprises, LLC and cross-complaint, B291188 (2/4 8/9/19) (Currey, Manella,... Continue reading
The Details Here Make The Difference . . . Lacayo v. Catalina Restaurant Group Inc., et al., E069833 (4/2 8/1/19) (Miller, Fields, Menetrez) provides an in-depth discussion of the appealability of orders granting individual arbitration and delegating the issue of the availability of a class action suit to an arbitrator... Continue reading
Trial Judge Parsed Declaration To Determine Whether Statements Were Made By Judge DickranTevrizian (Ret.) In Capacity As Mediator, Arbitrator, Or Director. When an opinion begins, "Leo Tolstoy famously observed that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," you can be sure that you are in for a dismal... Continue reading
And Prospect Of Inconsistent Results Meant Father's Claims Could Not Be Arbitrated While Children's Claims Were Litigated. Nursing homes continue to be a fertile source of cases concerning the enforcement of arbitration clauses. This is not surprising, because a patient, especially an elderly patient, who enters a nursing facility may... Continue reading
We Took A Break From Blogging . . . I have been absent for a couple of weeks, during which time I traveled to Italy for a family wedding. Fortunately, there has been a dearth of California opinions on mediation and arbitration during my absence. Here are two photos from... Continue reading
Also, Arbitrator’s Religious Affiliation Is No Reason For Disqualification, With Jewish Affiliation Not Showing Any Inherent Bias Against Homosexuals. Bogue v. Anesthesia Service Medical Group, Inc., Case No. D073518 (4th Dist., Div. 1 July 17, 2019) (unpublished) (McConnell, P.J.; Benke, J.; and Irion, J.) is a case where a former... Continue reading
McGill v. Citibank Held Agreement To Waive Right To Seek Public Injunctive Relief Is Unenforceable. In McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2017), the California Supreme Court held that a contract purporting to waive a party's right to seek public injunctive relief in any forum is unenforceable under California law. The key... Continue reading
A "Participation Waiver" Is Not Exactly The Same As A Waiver Of The Right To Sue Or A Bar Against Bringing A Class Action. Ari J. Stiller, an attorney with Kinglsey & Kingsley, has an article in the June 26, 2019 issue of the Daily Journal entitled, "Participation waivers test... Continue reading
Justice Bedsworth On Civility; SCOTUS On The Takings Clause. I've published two recent articles that have nothing to do with California Mediation and Arbitration. The June 18, 2019 Daily Journal published my article, "4th District Court of Appeal Justice William Bedsworth on civility." Justice Bedsworth wrote an opinion worth reading,... Continue reading
The Court Distinguishes Mandatory Mediation Language Of Frei v. Davey. We sometimes supplement our diet of published cases with unpublished cases -- especially for mediation decisions, which are few in supply compared to arbitration decisions. Ocean Tomo, LLC v. PatentRatings, LLC v. Patent Ratings, LLC, G055429 (consol. with G056063, G056829)... Continue reading
Plaintiff Had To Jump Through Hoops To Get To Arbitration Clause. For our next case, we add a new sidebar category: "Arbitration: Internet Commerce." "This case tests the outer limits of what constitutes a 'reasonably conspicuous' provision as part of the terms of usage so prevalent in the adhesion contracts... Continue reading
Trial Court's Ruling That Delay And Prejudice Resulted In Waiver Is Affirmed. Nunez v. Nevell Group, Inc., G056585 (4/3 5/2/19) (Fybel, Bedsworth, Goethals), addresses an employer's waiver of right to compel arbitration of violations of a wage order under a Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Court affirms the trial court's order... Continue reading
Appealability Under The Mandatory Fee Arbitration Act Is Different Than Appealability Under The California Arbitration Act. The holding of Levinson Arshonsky & Kurtz LLP v Kim (2/1 5/29/19) (Weingart, J.), is that an order denying a petition to compel an MFAA arbitration is not appealable. Therefore, the Court of Appeal... Continue reading
A Question Of Timing: Case Explains How To Handle Costs Under Section 998 In An Arbitration. Heimlich v. Shivji, S243029 (Cal. S.Ct. 5/30/19) (Corrigan, J.) is good news for practitioners, because it settles a timing issue, but it is no help to the hapless appellant who helped make law. Code... Continue reading
Chief Circuit Judge Thomas Concurs, But Writes That Earlier Case Law Was Wrongly Decided. The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the district court's order compelling arbitration of racial discrimination claims under section 1981. Lambert v. Tesla, Inc., DBA Tesla Motors, Inc., No. 18-15203 (9th Cir. 5/17/19) (Opn. by Smith, Thomas conc.).... Continue reading
Marc Alexander (This Blogger) Has Reviewed The Book For California Litigation. In the latest issue of California Litigation, Vol. 32, No. 1 (2019), p. 25, I've reviewed Adam Winkler's We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights. You can read the review, which is republished with the permission... Continue reading
Bank Likely To Succeed On Merits As To Whether It, Or Its Corporate Trust Department, Was A "Municipal Securities Dealer" Subject To FINRA Arbitration. If your eyes begin to glaze over when reading about the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) rules, conduit municipal bonds, indenture... Continue reading
Dispute Only Required Reference To Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Not Interpretation Of It. I blogged about Melendez v. San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC, on December 18, 2017, when it was still in the Court of Appeal. Baseball security guards had sued the Giants, alleging that the guards were intermittent employees,... Continue reading
An Issue Of First Impression. In NTCH-WA, Inc. v. ZTE Corporation, Inc. v. ZTE Corporation, No. 17-35833 (9th Cir. 4/25/19) (Gould, Paez, Pregerson), the Court of Appeals held that an arbitration award and its confirmation by a district court in Florida, barred plaintiff NTCH-WA from pursuing claims against ZTE Corp.... Continue reading
Quinn Emanuel And Spin-off LawFirm Selendy and Gay. Jack Newsham authored an April 24, 2019 article, appearing in New York Law Journal, and entitled, "Judge Dismisses Suit Against Quinn Emanuel by Partners of Spinoff, Sends to Arbitration." Newsham begins by quoting the judge, who wrote, "It is for the arbitrator... Continue reading
Majority Rejects State Law Rule That Ambiguous Contracts Are Interpreted Against The Drafter Because . . . Frank Varela, an employee of Petitioner Lamps Plus, Inc., sued Lamps Plus because a hacker tricked Varela's employer into disclosing tax information about 1,300 employees. Mr. Varela was understandably miffed after a fraudulent... Continue reading
Alternative Dispute Resolution And Alternative Facts, As Peace Comes To Westeros. Elmo of Sesame Street has provided us with a model for dispute resolution between Queen Cersei and Tyrion Lannaster in Game of Thrones: The best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is never a pretty picture in Game of... Continue reading