California

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. Bill Would Ramp Up Enforcement Against Wage Theft

    Looking to crack down on wage theft, California’s Senate leader said Thursday he has introduced a bill that would allow state regulators to require businesses that have failed to pay court orders for worker wages to post a bond of $150,000.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. AG Wants 9th Circ. To Restore Card Surchage Ban

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday served notice that she will ask the Ninth Circuit to overturn a California federal judge’s ruling striking down a state ban on credit card surcharges on free speech grounds.

  • April 24, 2015

    Studios' Score Outsourcing Sour Note For Musicians' Union

    The world’s largest musicians’ union Friday blasted Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc., Paramount Pictures Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. in California federal court for going off-script and having films, including “Interstellar” and “Carrie,” scored outside the U.S. and Canada in violation of a collective bargaining agreement.

  • April 24, 2015

    Firm Wrapped Up In Partner's Malpractice Row: Ex-Client

    A name partner in Blum Collins LLP should have told an ex-client who was contemplating suing him for malpractice that he had been working for her independently, and not as part of his firm, a California appeals court heard Friday in a suit stemming from a $6 million dispute over a backyard pool.

  • April 24, 2015

    Diablo Beats Ban On Chip Sales After Trade Secrets Trial

    A California federal judge on Friday lifted a ban on Diablo Technologies Inc.'s sale of chips used in data storage products from SanDisk Corp., IBM Corp. and others, saying the injunction isn't justified after a jury largely handed Diablo a win in Netlist Inc.'s trade-secrets and contract trial.

  • April 24, 2015

    Bergstein Fights To Keep Stroock In Atty Betrayal Fight

    An attorney for film producer David Bergstein told a California appeals court Friday that Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill LLP weren’t protected by litigation privilege when they elicited secrets from Bergstein’s longtime attorney to use against him in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding.

  • April 24, 2015

    AEG's Coachella Unit Put On Blast For Layaway Plans

    The Anschutz Entertainment Group unit responsible for massive music festival Coachella was hit with a putative class action in California court on Thursday that alleges layaway plans for pricey tickets strike an off-note by unlawfully keeping layaway customers’ tickets and payments if they miss even one deadline.

  • April 24, 2015

    High Court Urged To Hear Suit Over Student Loan Servicing

    A California attorney defending himself in a battle over $35,000 in student loans is urging the Supreme Court to take up the case, saying the loan service providers’ “dirty little secret” of inflating debt must be exposed.

  • April 24, 2015

    US Bank Settles Suit Over Force-Placed Flood Insurance

    A California federal judge on Thursday granted preliminary approval to a class action settlement between U.S. Bank NA, American Security Insurance Co. and plaintiffs who claim the bank charged homeowners lender-placed flood insurance rates inflated by kickbacks and policy backdating.

  • April 24, 2015

    Michaels Must ID Workers Fired For Seeking Medical Leave

    Michaels Stores Inc. was ordered Thursday to produce the identities of former employees who received letters terminating their positions for requesting medical leave, with a California federal court granting a bid to compel in a putative class action launched by a breast cancer survivor claiming she was fired after being denied leave.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. County Defends Drug Cleanup Law To High Court

    A California county has fired back against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors who want the U.S. Supreme Court to strike a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring drug companies to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, saying the companies are ignoring the true purpose of the law.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. Tribe Installs Renewable Hybrid Energy System

    A California Native American tribe is installing a first-of-its-kind 35 kW multi-renewable energy microgrid utilizing wind energy, solar energy and an advanced energy storage system in Loleta, California, JLM Energy Inc said Friday.

  • April 24, 2015

    Irell & Manella Faces DQ Bid In 'Dirty Grandpa' IP Row

    The defendant in a trademark suit against film company QED Holdings LLC over the upcoming comedy film "Dirty Grandpa," starring Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron, said that Southern California law firm Irell & Manella LLP must be disqualified as counsel because he is a former client of the firm.

  • April 24, 2015

    Munger Tolles Sued Over Firing After Workload Complaint

    A former Munger Tolles & Olson LLP paralegal sued the firm in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, alleging that a litigation associate imposed a grueling work schedule with little time for sleep and that she was fired soon after complaining to a Munger Tolles partner.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. Fast Food Mogul Charged With $20M Loan Fraud

    A federal grand jury hit a California property developer with a 21-count indictment Thursday accusing the former owner of dozens of fast food franchises of defrauding banks of more than $20 million in overinflated commercial loans.

  • April 24, 2015

    JPML Asked To Merge SeaWorld Orca Abuse Claims Suits

    Consumers accusing SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. of misleading ticketholders about the theme park giant’s alleged mistreatment of whales urged the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Thursday to consolidate in southern California four putative class actions challenging SeaWorld’s sales and marketing tactics.

  • April 24, 2015

    FTC Opposes Quick Appeal For AT&T In Throttling Suit

    The Federal Trade Commission urged a California federal court on Thursday to deny AT&T Corp.’s motion to the Ninth Circuit to certify two questions from its data throttling dispute, arguing that it’s very unlikely the appellate court would rule in the company’s favor.

  • April 24, 2015

    VC Firm IVP Raises $1.4B For Latest Tech-Focused Fund

    Institutional Venture Partners said Thursday that it has raised $1.4 billion for its latest fund, the largest ever for the California-based late-stage venture capital firm, which has backed technology darlings such as Snapchat and Twitter.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. Landowners Sue Union Pacific Over ‘Illegal’ Land Use

    A proposed class of California landowners on Thursday alleged Union Pacific Railroad Co. has improperly used the subsurface of its railroad right-of-way to grant “illegal and unauthorized” easements and collect rents from pipeline companies, trespassing and violating their land ownership for decades.

  • April 23, 2015

    Protect Workers' Salary Info In Suit, Cymbalta Maker Says

    Eli Lilly & Co. argued Thursday that its employee witnesses should not be required to disclose their salary information in a suit over the alleged withdrawal effects of its antidepressant Cymbalta, arguing that employees who are asked to testify in such cases can keep the details of their compensation private.

Expert Analysis

  • 3 Developments You Need To Know About Calif.'s Prop 65

    Judith Praitis

    All three branches of California's government rendered important determinations on Proposition 65 during the first quarter of 2015: a court of appeal affirmed a major defense victory on how lead exposures in food can be assessed, the executive branch promulgated major new warning regulations and the legislature is considering new curbs on frivolous lawsuits, say Judith Praitis and Amy Lally of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Clarifies Functionality Test For Color TM Cases

    Cynthia Hernandez

    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Moldex-Metric Inc. v. McKeon Prods. Inc. guides the lower courts to follow Qualitex’s core aesthetic functionality principles for color trademarks while applying the Ninth Circuit’s nonexclusive four factors as considerations to determine whether a product feature is functional, say David Martinez and Cynthia Hernandez of Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Deepens Split Over Complex CERCLA Sites

    Michael D. Daneker

    The Ninth Circuit's holding in AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas Inc. deepens an unresolved circuit split and increases uncertainty regarding the legal effect of settlement with fewer than all responsible parties at complex Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act sites, say Michael Daneker and Lauren Daniel of Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Scope Of Calif.'s Mello-Roos Now Includes Eminent Domain

    Bradford B. Kuhn

    Those of us living in California's newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos — it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements. Now a state appellate court ruling has potentially opened the door to use Mello-Roos financing for a variety of purposes — including the takeover of any private utility service, say Bradford Kuhn and Rick Rayl of Nossaman LLP.

  • 3 Different Scenarios For Marijuana In Indian Country

    Blaine I. Green

    The U.S. Department of Justice's 2014 Indian Country Memorandum must be understood in the context of Indian law and the interplay between state, federal and tribal law on reservation lands. Depending on the legality of marijuana under state law, this interplay creates at least three different scenarios for tribes to consider, say Blaine Green and Emily Burkett of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Has Ensured Fewer Post-Employment Restrictions

    Katelyn Keegan

    The Ninth Circuit's opinion in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group limits the scope of permissible restrictive covenants employers can include in employment contracts and settlement agreements and could void current agreements containing restrictive provisions beyond traditional noncompete clauses, says Katelyn Keegan of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • 'Primary Users' May Be On Speed Dial For TCPA Suits

    Robert A. Scott

    Recent case law appears to reflect a growing willingness among courts to allow claims by plaintiffs under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act who receive calls on cellphone lines paid for by their employers or some other party. This may expose creditors and debt collectors that use automated dialing equipment to contact customers on their cellphones to additional claims, says Robert Scott of Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • A New Paradigm For Industrial Hemp Farming On Tribal Lands

    Timothy Purdon

    Although the past two decades have seen 22 states and many tribal governments pass laws permitting industrial hemp cultivation, pushback from the federal government and a persistent association of hemp to marijuana has prevented American Indian farmers from pursuing this cash crop. However, a recent U.S. Department of Justice memo could usher in a new area for industrial hemp farming on tribal lands, say attorneys with Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • A Trend Toward More State Focus On Lawyer Mobility?

    Allison Martin Rhodes

    The efforts of state bar regulators in three large legal markets — Florida, New York and now Virginia — are almost certainly an indication of increased regulation to come in the area of lawyer mobility, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Calif.'s Flexible New Tool For Infrastructure Development

    Glenn Q. Snyder

    California’s enhanced infrastructure financing districts are new and powerful tools that offer greater flexibility to raise funds and implement infrastructure or community revitalization projects. However, it remains to be seen how well multiple taxing entities will be able to work together to approve and implement specific projects, say Glenn Snyder and Matthew Valdez of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.