California

  • September 23, 2016

    Berkeley Fights Builder Bid To Knock Down Demolition Laws

    The city of Berkeley asked a California federal judge Friday to toss a developer’s claim that a demolition fee requirement aimed at offsetting the loss of rent-controlled housing unconstitutionally restricts property rights by ballooning redevelopment costs, arguing the developer lacks standing because the city council hasn’t yet set the fee amount.

  • September 23, 2016

    Wells Fargo Hit With $2.6B Suit Over Scam-Related Firings

    Wells Fargo was slapped with a $2.6 billion putative class action in Los Angeles County Superior Court Thursday on behalf of the bank’s California workers who were allegedly fired or demoted for refusing to participate in the company’s recently revealed unauthorized account scam.

  • September 23, 2016

    Taxation With Representation: Milbank, Fenwick, Mayer Brown

    In this week’s Taxation With Representation, Eldorado Resorts snatches up Isle of Capri Casinos for $1.7 billion, a tech-focused private equity firm buys California-based Infoblox for nearly as much, and Lennar Corp. expands its Florida footprint with a $643 million deal.

  • September 23, 2016

    TMZ, Warner Bros. Dodge Suit Over Jared Leto Video

    Celebrity gossip site TMZ escaped a copyright infringement suit Friday brought by actor and musician Jared Leto for publishing a clip where he swears about Taylor Swift in his home studio, when a California federal court said Leto doesn’t own the copyright to the video.

  • September 23, 2016

    Ex-Tribe Leaders Knock Judgment Bid In Embezzlement Row

    Four former Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians officials accused by the tribe of a sprawling embezzlement scheme blasted current tribal leaders’ request to finalize their escape from the dispute in California federal court Thursday.

  • September 23, 2016

    HP Says Oracle Using Discovery In Bid To Spy On Its Business

    HP told a California federal judge Thursday that Oracle is abusing discovery in its suit alleging HP support companies distributed copyrighted Oracle code, trying to spy on HP’s business operations, while Oracle said in the joint letter that HP isn't fulfilling its discovery obligations.

  • September 23, 2016

    Lenovo Says Apple Earbud Win Subverts Adware Class Claims

    Lenovo told a California federal judge Friday that customers who claim they could be harmed in the future by hidden adware preinstalled on their computers don’t qualify for class certification in multidistrict litigation, citing a 2010 Ninth Circuit decision that threw out claims that Apple's iPod headphone carried an undue risk of hearing damage.

  • September 23, 2016

    CFPB Sues Credit Repair Co. Over Advanced Fees, Deceptions

    Los Angeles-based credit repair company Prime Marketing Holdings LLC illegally charged advanced fees and misrepresented how effective and expensive its services were, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleged Thursday in a federal lawsuit.

  • September 23, 2016

    BigLaw Allergy To 'Sorry' On Display In Orrick Sanction Spat

    There are lots of ways to say “I’m sorry,” but BigLaw excels at finding ways around the mea culpa, experts said, despite copious research pointing to the professional — and legally strategic — benefits of a heartfelt apology.

  • September 23, 2016

    Google Blasts Ex-MySpace Owner For ‘Harassing’ Motions

    Google, News Corp. and Ask.com owner Interactive Corp. urged a California federal judge Friday to declare a former MySpace co-owner a vexatious litigant over his pursuit of allegations they depressed MySpace’s price ahead of its 2005 sale, saying he’s filed 16 “really harassing” motions since the court dismissed the claims a year ago.

  • September 23, 2016

    Calif. Energy Regulator Blasted For Conflicts, Spending

    The California state auditor issued a scathing report Thursday criticizing the state’s energy regulator for awarding utility contracts in instances where impartiality on the part of its commissioners was a concern and took the agency to task for being a careless shopper when spending its own money.

  • September 23, 2016

    CFPB Can’t Back Contempt Push In Debt Scam Suit, Firm Says

    Seila Law LLC on Thursday urged a California federal court to dismiss contempt proceedings initiated by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of litigation over bankrupt Morgan Drexen Inc.’s $133 million debt-settlement fee scam, arguing there's no evidence that the firm deserves such action.

  • September 23, 2016

    San Francisco Boots Wells Fargo From Consumer Program

    San Franciso's Treasurer on Friday took on Wells Fargo off a list of banks where the city recommends low-income residents open bank accounts amid allegations that the bank opened accounts under its customers' names without their consent.

  • September 23, 2016

    Solar Panel Co. With $32M In Debt Hits Ch. 11

    California solar panel company Verengo Inc. hit Chapter 11 on Friday after its business footprint began to shrink and its liquidity position deteriorated to the point where it couldn’t make payments on its $32 million in liabilities.

  • September 23, 2016

    Madonna’s Copyright Accuser Gets $720K Fee Award Nixed

    A California judge Friday reversed her decision requiring a music publisher that unsuccessfully sued Madonna for infringement over a horn-riff sample to pay the singer’s $720,000 in legal costs, determining the claims were not frivolous or objectively unreasonable after the Ninth Circuit mandated reconsideration.

  • September 23, 2016

    Class Fights To Keep Suit Over SeaWorld Tickets, Plushes

    The consumers in a putative class action suit against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. hit back against the park's motion to dismiss their claims that they had been duped into buying tickets and plush dolls, telling a California federal court the park is rehashing arguments it has already lost.

  • September 23, 2016

    Fishermen File Human Trafficking Suit Against Ship Captain

    Two Indonesian nationals who were recruited to work in the commercial fishing industry filed suit in California federal court Thursday alleging they never received the job or wages they were promised but instead were taken to sea against their will and subjected to forced labor and horrific conditions.

  • September 23, 2016

    PE Group Pays Over $500M For Analogix Semiconductor

    California-based Analogix Semiconductor Inc. announced Thursday that it has been purchased by a Chinese investment fund for more than $500 million.

  • September 23, 2016

    DirecTV Can't Duck FTC False Ad Claims

    A California federal judge refused Friday to pare back a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit accusing DirecTV of misleading customers about a promotional channel package, finding the satellite television provider can't show its disclosures to be “clear and conspicuous” without going to trial.

  • September 23, 2016

    Lyft Drivers Fight Bid To Toss Premium Fare Surcharge Suit

    A proposed class of Lyft Inc. drivers accusing the company of imposing surcharges on certain fares urged a California federal judge on Thursday to deny the company’s bid to duck the lawsuit, saying its case is unique from one resolved by a recent $27 million settlement.

Expert Analysis

  • Economic Nexus And The Water’s-Edge Election In California

    Eric J. Coffill

    The California Franchise Tax Board recently addressed the convergence of the provisions governing a water’s-edge election and those that define “doing business” in California, describing the circumstances under which the FTB will not seek to terminate an election of a reporting group that subsequently became a factor-presence California taxpayer. The FTB is to be credited for presenting a sensible solution to a high-stakes issue, s... (continued)

  • 9th Circ. Limits CDA Immunity From Failure-To Warn-Cases

    Tyler Newby

    Although the Ninth Circuit's recent opinion in Beckman v. Match.com is unpublished, it creates a potentially troubling gap in the Communications Decency Act immunity protecting online services from suits based on the conduct of their users, say Tyler Newby and Hanley Chew of Fenwick & West LLP.

  • Triclosan: Proposition 65’s Next BPA?

    Gabriel J. Padilla

    A new rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of over-the-counter antibacterial soaps containing certain chemicals, including triclosan. With this recent federal ban, and the growing evidence that triclosan may be harmful to human health, it could end up on the list of chemicals subject to California's Proposition 65 warning requirements, says Gabriel Padilla of Bick Law LLP.

  • When Demand Letters Constitute Extortion In California

    Felix Shafir

    In 2006, the California Supreme Court held that a lawyer’s prelitigation communications can constitute extortion. Ever since, lower courts have wrestled with how to distinguish between extortionate threats and proper demand letters. The most important distinction is between threats of civil litigation and threats of criminal prosecution, say Felix Shafir and Jeremy Rosen of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Avoiding And Defending Automatic-Renewal Claims In Calif.

    James G. Snell

    While enacted to target fly-by-night and illicit business models, California’s automatic purchase renewals statute has been exploited in recent years. Businesses should revisit their disclosures to minimize the likelihood they will be targeted in class action litigation involving auto-renewal claims, say James Snell and Marina Gatto of Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Overhauling Law Firm Records Departments For A New Reality

    Raymond Fashola

    As automation increases, so do business challenges that impact overall law firm operations. Records departments are facing roadblocks associated with antiquated processes, ever-changing regulatory requirements, and emerging technologies. As a result, firms are reassessing the needs of their records department staffing models, says Raymond Fashola of HBR Consulting.

  • Courts Are Taking Materiality Seriously Post-Escobar

    Bradley D. Wine

    Three months after the U.S. Supreme Court's Escobar decision, we can see some trends emerging in False Claims Act decisions that may give contractors a ray of hope, say Bradley Wine and Daniel Chudd of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Unclaimed Property Law: What Oil And Gas Cos. Should Know

    Carol Lynn Thompson

    States have recently stepped up enforcement of unclaimed property laws to generate additional revenue and the oil and gas industry has become an attractive target. Because unclaimed property compliance obligations can be particularly complex it is critical that companies understand the current landscape and the best ways to navigate the audit process, say attorneys at Sidley Austin LLP.

  • How The 9th Circ. Is 'Throttling' FTC Jurisdiction

    Howard Morse

    The Ninth Circuit recently issued its decision in Federal Trade Commission v. AT&T, ruling that AT&T is protected by Section 5 of the FTC Act. The court said that common carrier providers are exempt from FTC scrutiny even when they are not providing common carrier services, potentially redefining the jurisdiction boundaries between the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission, say attorneys at Cooley LLP.

  • Why California Teachers Will Celebrate Senate Bill 1413

    Gregory J. Korbel

    The California Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 1413, which authorizes school districts to establish programs that will help teachers and school district employees secure affordable housing. This timely bill is intended to address the potentially troubling future of California's teaching industry, say Gregory Korbel and Rosanna Moreno of Miller Morton Caillat & Nevis LLP.