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calmediation
Southern California
Business Litigator, Mediator
Recent Activity
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
First District, Division Two Affirms Trial Court's Order Denying Petition To Compel Arbitration And Stay Proceedings. In many ways, the next case fits the template of a typical case in which unconscionability is found to be a defense to enforcement of an arbitration clause. The Court of Appeal noted that... Continue reading
Justice Segal Dissents. An employee can impliedly accept an arbitration agreement by continuing to work for his or her employer. But what happens when the employee explicitly rejects the arbitration agreement yet continues to work, after the employer has said that continuing to work will bind the employee to arbitration?... Continue reading
Choice-Of-Law Provision Is Interpreted To Exclude Special Rules Limiting The Authority Of Arbitrators Where The Federal Arbitration Act Governed The Agreement. California Labor Code section 229 provides that wage disputes "may be maintained without regard to the existence of any private agreement to arbitrate." In Bravo v. RADC Enterprises, Inc.,... Continue reading
The Splitting Issue Is Also Pending Before The California Supreme Court. Splitting log, tie-cutting camp, Pie Town, New Mexico. Russell Lee, photographer. June 1940. Library of Congress. There are still Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) issues that need to be definitively resolved. One such issue is the subject... Continue reading
Opinion Explains How Contract And Arbitration Agreement Are Treated As Separate Agreements. Jackpot Harvesting, Inc. v. Applied Underwriters, H044953 (6th Dist. 3/28/19) (Danner, Greenwood, Grover), provides a detailed discussion of whether the court or the arbitrator has authority to enforce an arbitration agreement, and how the concept of "severability" helps... Continue reading
Language Of Arbitration Agreement Was Sufficient To Require Arbitration, But . . . . In Salgado v. Carrows Restaurants, Inc., B285756 (2/6 2/26/19) (Gilbert, Yegan, Tangeman), the trial court denied employer's motion to compel arbitration, on the grounds that "Defendants have failed to demonstrate that the arbitration agreement applies to... Continue reading
Driver Did Not Need To Cross State Lines To Engage In Interstate Commerce. The Federal Arbitration Act contains a statutory exemption for "contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce." 9 U.S.C. section 1 (italics added). Thus, a truck... Continue reading
Evidence Of A Policy Is Not Evidence Of Adherence To The Policy. Plaintiff Juen engaged Alain Pinel Realtors, Inc. (Pinel) to sell his house. Later, Juen sued Pinel, Pinel unsuccessfully moved to compel arbitration, and Pinel appealed. Juen v. Alain Pinel Realtors, Inc., H043230 (6th Dist. 2/6/19) (Grover, Greenwood, Bamattre-Manoukian).... Continue reading
Marc Alexander (This Blogger) And Mike Hensley Represented Defendants In Their Successful Response To This Appeal. Today* we stray from our usual beat, California mediation and arbitration, to mention an appeal resulting in a partially published opinion. Why? Because this blogger, Marc Alexander, was involved, and because his long-time colleague... Continue reading
Case Is Remanded So District Court Can Assess Jurisdictional Issue. The plaintiff-appellant Mr. Castro took on a job as a deck hand on ship. His employment agreement contained a mandatory arbitration provision and it required arbitration to occur in and be subject to the procedural rules of American Samoa. After... Continue reading
Case Contains Rich Discussion Of Arbitration, PAGA, Federal Preemption, And Divergence Of State And Federal Law. Plaintiffs sued their former employer, alleging wage and hour violations and seeking civil penalties under California's Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA). Employer successfully petitioned to arbitrate, with one exception: the trial court... Continue reading
The Code Of Civil Procedure 1281.4 Stay Is Mandatory. Top Kick Productions, Inc., Chuck Norris's production company, sued CBS Broadcasting Inc. over allegations of what might be characterized as Hollywood Accounting. CBS moved to compel arbitration, and to stay the litigation pursuant to CCP 1281.4, while Top Kick had a... Continue reading
Either Defendants Authorized Their Attorney To Agree To Binding Arbitration Or They Ratified The Agreement. Defendants and Plaintiffs arbitrated their dispute, the arbitrator's award was in favor of Plaintiffs, and Defendants appealed the judgment confirming the award. Dean v. Amado, A147660 (1/3 2/20/19) (Jenkins, Siggins, Pollak) (not for publication). Defendants'... Continue reading
A Century After A Failed Attempt At International Mediation . . . 1916, February? "Photograph shows members of the neutral European nations who met with the Henry Ford Peace Expedition in Stockholm, Sweden probably in February, 1916 and formed the Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation." Library of Congress. Without a... Continue reading
Arbitrator's Discretion To Limit Discovery Did Not Amount To Substantive Unconscionability. Finding "some procedural unconscionability", but not substantive unconscionability, the Court of Appeal reversed Judge Michael L. Stern's order denying defendants' motion to compel arbitration. Spaulding v. PJCA-2, LP et al., B285996 (2/7 2/11/19) (Segal, Zelon, Feuer) (unpublished). The Court... Continue reading
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In Praise Of Mediation? . . . You may have seen the famous print of the farmers fighting over a cow. One pulls the head, the other the tail, while the lawyer sitting on a stool milks the cow. The folk singer John Kirkpatrick sang the song "The Farmers and... Continue reading