• September 19, 2014

    Calif. Pols Seek Probe Of PG&E's Relationship With Watchdog

    California state and local politicians urged the state attorney general to investigate inappropriate communications between PG&E Corp. and the California Public Utilities Commission over a penalty case stemming from the fatal 2010 pipeline explosion and PG&E rate cases on Friday, the same day conservation groups asked the attorney general to review whether the CPUC colluded with utilities.

  • September 19, 2014

    Developer Can't Slip Shell's $40M Suit Over Property Cleanup

    A California judge on Friday refused to toss Shell Oil Co.'s suit alleging a developer owned by Dole Food Co. Inc. is liable for $40 million in cleanup costs for land it bought  from Shell decades ago, saying more evidence is needed to parse the contract at issue.

  • September 19, 2014

    Mercedes Gets Car Safety IP Suit Trimmed In Calif.

    A California federal judge on Friday trimmed patent holder Signal IP Inc.’s infringement suit against Mercedes-Benz USA LLC accusing the automaker's cars of using its car-safety patents, including one for a blind-spot radar, ruling Signal had not properly alleged willful infringement. 

  • September 19, 2014

    AIG Unit Hit With $1.6M Verdict In Sandy Deductible Case

    A California jury on Friday found that American International Group Inc. unit Lexington Insurance Co. stiffed a New York science center on Superstorm Sandy damage claims, reaching a $1.6 million verdict that includes damages and attorneys' fees.

  • September 19, 2014

    SanDisk Can't Escape Flash Memory Antitrust Suit

    A California federal judge denied SanDisk Corp.’s bid to toss a putative class action lodged by retailers and customers accusing the company of using its patents to monopolize the flash memory industry, ruling the plaintiffs have standing.

  • September 19, 2014

    RE Rumor Mill: Hines, Goldman, Claremont

    St. Thomas Church has gotten $71 million from Hines and Goldman Sachs, while the San Pablo Casino may buy an adjacent hospital and Claremont is turning a Wall Street office building into condos with the help of a $52 million loan.

  • September 19, 2014

    LinkedIn Wants Remainder Of Email-Harvesting Suit Dismissed

    LinkedIn Corp. on Thursday called for a California federal judge to throw out the remainder of a putative class action alleging the social media network broke into users’ accounts to send emails on their behalf, saying the plaintiffs’ amended complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted.

  • September 19, 2014

    Calif. Atty Hit With Sanctions In Farmers Market Fee Row

    A California federal judge on Thursday slapped a Palm Desert, California, plaintiffs attorney with $24,273 in sanctions for failing to properly respond to motions and interrogatories in a suit alleging Los Angeles County illegally charged businesses fees to sell food products at local farmers markets.

  • September 19, 2014

    Starbucks Chair Suit Revived By Calif. Appeals Court

    A California state appeals court has revived a warranty lawsuit brought by Starbucks Corp. against Outdoor Lifestyle Inc. over allegedly defective chairs purchased by the coffee giant, saying Starbucks’ interpretation of the underlying forum selection clause in the warranty agreement is correct.

  • September 19, 2014

    Allergan Defends Redactions In Valeant Insider Trading Suit

    Allergan Inc. on Thursday asked a California federal court to reject Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.'s attempts to bar it from redacting documents in its insider trading suit against Valeant, saying its rival only wants the documents to help a $53 billion hostile takeover bid. 

  • September 19, 2014

    McCourt Global GC Tells Law360 New JVs Are An 'Art Form'

    Ryan Kirkpatrick, general counsel at McCourt Global, a real estate developer that's active across the country, says he's seeing more complex joint ventures, and more capital players at the table means additional investment opportunities but also added legal challenges. Here, Law360 sits down with the man responsible for structuring the joint ventures for the former Dodgers owner's real estate firm.

  • September 19, 2014

    9th. Circ. Strikes Calif.'s Boeing Site Cleanup Law

    The Ninth Circuit said on Friday that a bill requiring Boeing to clean up a toxic site to a farming-safe level was too stringent under the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity, and that California overextended its authority by requiring more within a government site than was generally required in the rest of the state.

  • September 19, 2014

    Alibaba IPO Buoys M&A Outlook For 2 Big-Ticket Deal Makers

    The historic initial public offering of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. on Friday injected multibillion-dollar windfalls to the war chests of a pair of mammoth companies already under the M&A microscope, sending the marketplace buzzing over their next deal-making moves.

  • September 19, 2014

    Cos. Liable Under TCPA For 3rd-Party Texts, 9th Circ. Rules

    Companies that hire third parties to send unsolicited text messages can be liable for Telephone Consumer Privacy Act violations, the Ninth Circuit held Friday in a published opinion reviving a proposed class action that blamed U.S. Navy contractor Campbell-Ewald Co. for recruitment messages cellphone users received.

  • September 19, 2014

    Algonquin Agrees To Pay $327M For Regulated Water Utilities

    Canadian energy player Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. said Friday that its regulated utility business will pay Carlyle Group-backed Western Water Holdings approximately $327 million for water distribution utility Park Water Co., which produces and sells water in Southern California and Western Montana.

  • September 19, 2014

    Securitas Guard Vacation Pay Class To Be Certified

    A California federal judge on Thursday said he would give early certification to a class of Securitas Security Services Inc. guards alleging the company’s vacation pay policy is essentially a bonus program in disguise, tasking the parties to agree on a class definition.

  • September 19, 2014

    Power Integrations Wants Injunction On Top Of $105M IP Win

    Power Integrations Inc. on Thursday urged a California federal judge to slap Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. with a permanent injunction against infringing two Power Integrations power supply patents, saying a jury's $105 million damages award isn't enough to stop Fairchild's continued infringement.

  • September 19, 2014

    FTC Shifts Heat To Mobile Apps With Kids' Privacy Actions

    The Federal Trade Commission recently targeted mobile apps run by Yelp Inc. and TinyCo Inc. in enforcement actions under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, showing that the agency won't hesitate to apply the privacy rules it has traditionally enforced for websites to the mobile space, even with apps that aren't directed to children.

  • September 19, 2014

    Kuwaiti Contractor Gets FCA Claims Trimmed To $40M

    A California federal judge trimmed $25 million from a False Claims Act suit brought against Kuwaiti contractor The Public Warehousing Co. but kept $40 million worth of claims, saying a whistleblower adequately alleged that the company deliberately overcharged the U.S. military under logistical support contracts in Iraq and Kuwait.

  • September 19, 2014

    Sharp Fights To Opt Out Of Deals In CRT Price-Fixing MDL

    Sharp Electronics Corp. on Thursday appealed the denial of its bid to opt out of $46 million in settlements with Hitachi Inc. and Samsung Group in multidistrict litigation over alleged cathode ray tube price-fixing, roughly two weeks after a California federal judge nixed its reconsideration attempt over the matter.

Expert Analysis

  • Breaking Down California’s New Sick Pay Law

    James P. Baker

    The fourth time was the charm. In three prior years, California legislative committees have tried to pass a statewide sick leave bill. This year, on Sept. 10, the Legislature was finally successful. Employers with California employees need to take a magnifying glass to their policies, say attorneys at Baker & McKenzie.

  • Historic Calif. Groundwater Bills Are Dry On Specifics

    Alfred E. Smith II

    Despite their historic nature, California's set of groundwater bills do not determine or quantify water rights — how groundwater sustainability agencies will exercise their water right allocation authority or create sustainability plans where water rights priorities are contested is uncertain, says Alfred Smith of Nossaman LLP.

  • When Does An Insurance Co. Waive Atty-Client Privilege?

    Joan M. Cotkin

    A policyholder’s counsel might consider sending discovery requests inquiring whether the insurer-defendant claims to have acted legally at all relevant times, which we suspect the insurer-defendant is likely to respond in the affirmative — if it does so, will it have waived the privilege? asks Joan Cotkin of Nossaman LLP.

  • Resurgence Of 'Negligent Loan Servicing' Theory In Calif.

    Luke Sosnicki

    California’s First District Court of Appeal recently doubled-down on its 2013 ruling in Jolley v. Chase Home Finance LLC, again holding that a residential mortgage servicer owed a borrower a duty of care when reviewing a loan-modification application. In doing so, however, the court did not address other — and perhaps more basic — questions, say Luke Sosnicki and Stephanie Yu of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

  • Apple Class Certification Will Affect All Tech Companies

    Ian C. Schaefer

    The greatest impact of the recent class certification in Felczer v. Apple Inc. may be in emboldening other lawyers to sue technology companies and use this case as a blueprint — other companies should expect suits with similar claims, theories, discovery, experts and trial plans, say attorneys at Epstein Becker Green LLP.

  • No Industry Is Safe From TCPA Litigation

    Richard Benenson

    In recent years, the number of private actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has risen sharply, but perhaps more concerning is that litigants are using the act to target an increasingly broad range of industries, say attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • More State Courts Upholding Forum Selection Bylaws

    Melissa L. Nunez

    The recent case of Groen v. Safeway represents a clear move by California to join the growing list of states going on record to endorse the enforceability of forum selection provisions in corporate bylaws, say Robert Friedel and Melissa Nunez of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Why You Need A Court Reporter To Set The Record Straight

    Anne M. Grignon

    Court reporters, who used to be a regular presence in every courtroom in California, preserving every word for the record, are now conspicuously absent from many of the state's courts. This has serious implications for civil appeals, say Anne Grignon and Ilana Herscovitz of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Back To The '90s: Retail Pricing Class Actions Return

    Ed Chansky

    Despite a slowdown in lawsuits against retailers for deceptive price advertising since the mid-1990s, Federal Trade Commission guidelines and state laws and regulations are still in effect and have recently become the basis for a growing number of consumer class actions against retailers, say Ed Chansky and Irving Scher of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • New Calif. Appeal Bond Rules Correct Outdated Process

    Lisa Perrochet

    An overdue amendment to the California statutes governing deposits in lieu of appeal bonds brings the deposit procedure in line with modern banking and investment practices. Two important changes will streamline the process, say Thomas Watson and Lisa Perrochet, partners with Horvitz & Levy LLP and drafters of the bill.