Posts in Recent Decisions
Loan Renegotiation is "New Phase" in Lending Relationship, May be Considered in whether Lender Breached Duty of Care

Back in March, a California Bankruptcy Court ruled “Franz Kafka lives [and] he works at Bank of America,” describing the bank as “heartless” in improperly foreclosing on houses, and summarized the homeowners’ ordeal with the bank as a “Kafkaesque nightmare.”

Now, closing out the year, a California Appeals Court has gotten in on the lender liability action. (Rossetta v. CitiMortgage Inc. (Dec. 18, 2017.)) This time the bank is CitiMortgage, and instead of improper foreclosures, the case involves an over two-year-long home loan modification application process.

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Courts Of Appeal Give Yelp Arguments Re: Reviewer Anonymity One Star

In the ongoing battle over First Amendment rights to anonymity online, two recent California Court of Appeal decisions involving lawsuits against anonymous reviewers on Yelp.com (together with its owner, Yelp Inc., “Yelp”) provide a tentative roadmap for businesses and individuals seeking protection from defamatory online posts.

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California Court of Appeal Clarifies Good Faith Defense Against Fraudulent Transfer Claims

In its recent decision in Nautilus, Inc. v. Yang, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District addressed a split of authority regarding the good faith defense to fraudulent transfer claims in California.

In 1986, California adopted, with minor alterations, the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act as Civil Code sections 3439, et seq.  Effective January 1, 2016, that chapter was amended and renamed the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (the “UVTA").  The UVTA creates a civil cause of action by a creditor against a debtor, the debtor’s transferees, and/or the subsequent transferees of the debtor’s transferees to void transfers made by the debtor to defraud the creditor or prevent the creditor from collecting on his claim.  Civ. Code § 3439.07(a).  A creditor’s claim is defined broadly to include almost any right to payment, including an accrued cause of action or a judgment.  Civ. Code § 3439.01(b).

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Another Unfavorable Appellate Court Ruling for Employers-Court Mandates Rest Periods for Commission Only Employees

Following on the heels of the California Supreme Court decision in Agustus, et al. v. ABM Security (holding that employers cannot require their employees to remain on-call during legally mandated rest periods) the California  Court of Appeals for the Second District issued a decision concerning compensation for rest periods taken by commissioned employees. In Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC, B269657 (February 28, 2017), the Court tackled the issue of whether employers are required to separately compensate commissioned employees for rest periods taken during the work day in accordance with the state’s labor laws. 

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California Court of Appeal Reinstates Real Estate Brokerage Commission Lawsuit

In its recent decision in Jacobs v. Locatelli, H042292 (Feb. 8, 2017), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that when one of several real estate owners signs on behalf of the others, a claim for a brokerage commission is not automatically barred by the statute of frauds and the parol evidence rule.

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California Supreme Court to Employers: No More On-Call Rest Periods

Today, the California Supreme Court handed down its decision in one of the most-watched labor and employment cases of 2016.  In its opinion in Augustus, et al. v. ABM Security Services, Inc., S224853 (December 22, 2016), the Court held that employers may not require employees to remain "on-call" during required rest periods.  The decision, which reverses a Court of Appeal decision that was celebrated by many in the business community, may have enormous ramifications for California employers. 

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