• January 28, 2015

    Calif. Appeals Court OKs CarMax Employees’ PAGA Claims

    A California appeals court Wednesday ruled that the lead plaintiffs in a putative wage-and-hour class action against CarMax Inc. must have their legal claims decided by an arbitrator, except for claims related to the Private Attorneys General Act, relying on the California Supreme Court's landmark Iskanian decision.

  • January 28, 2015

    Manatt Snags Veteran Energy Partner From K&L Gates

    Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP is expanding its energy and natural resources practice in Los Angeles with the hiring of a new partner from K&L Gates LLP who brings with him more than 40 years of experience in energy, infrastructure and project finance, the firm announced this week.

  • January 28, 2015

    HomeAway's SF Rental Ordinance Dispute Axed On Standing

    A California federal judge dismissed HomeAway Inc.'s suit against San Francisco alleging the city was violating the Commerce Clause by restricting short-term rental activity and requiring such vacation rental companies to collect taxes, ruling Tuesday that HomeAway lacked standing.

  • January 28, 2015

    Beyonce Photos Stolen By Gossip Site, Paparazzi Co. Says

    A Los Angeles-based paparazzi company filed suit in federal court on Tuesday alleging that a celebrity news website infringed on its copyrighted photos of a pregnant Beyonce Knowles taken in 2011.

  • January 28, 2015

    Reed Smith Adds Ex-DLA Piper Atty To NY And SF Offices

    Reed Smith LLP has bolstered its intellectual property practice group in its New York and San Francisco offices with the addition of an ex-DLA Piper attorney who has expertise in commercial litigation and in representing clients in the technology industry.

  • January 28, 2015

    Yahoo's $40B Spinoff Bolsters Large Cap-Hungry Activists

    Yahoo Inc.'s plan to spin off its $40 billion Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stake roughly follows a proposal Starboard Value LP made last year, reinforcing activist investors' rising sophistication and influence over even the biggest targets — an evolution expected to define this proxy season.

  • January 28, 2015

    Class Action Accuses Uber Of Lying About Safety Checks

    Uber Technologies Inc. was hit with a consumer class action alleging that it lies to riders about the safety checks it conducts on its drivers and their cars, the plaintiff said Wednesday, little more than a month after district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco raised similar claims.

  • January 28, 2015

    LA Coliseum's Bribery Suit Against Rave Promoters Is Revived

    A California appeals court on Tuesday partially reversed the dismissal of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission's suit against two rave promoters accused of bribing a former coliseum official for reduced venue fees, finding that the commission's allegations of a fraud conspiracy and conflict of interest can stand.

  • January 28, 2015

    Adaptix Ramps Up AT&T, HTC Patent Feud Despite Setback

    Adaptix Inc. has accused AT&T Mobility LLC and HTC Corp. of infringing two of its data encoding patents with their 4G LTE wireless network, just days after a California federal judge ruled that parts of those patents were invalid in a separate suit also targeting AT&T and HTC.

  • January 28, 2015

    NY, LA Lead 33 Mayors Support Obama's Immigration Action

    Mayors for 33 cities, including New York and Los Angeles, on Tuesday argued President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration will support local economies and law enforcement, filing an amicus brief in the 26-state suit in Texas federal court seeking to block the action.

  • January 28, 2015

    Atara Joins Flood Of Life Science Cos. Tapping Market

    Venture capital-backed Atara Biotherapeutics Inc., whose lead product addresses muscle loss, filed Wednesday to raise roughly $74 million in a follow-on offering three months after a disappointing initial public offering, marking the latest life sciences firm to return to the public markets to fund research and development.

  • January 28, 2015

    Quincy Jones Slams Sony Over Docs In 'Bad' Royalties Row

    Legendary music producer Quincy Jones told a California judge on Wednesday that Sony Music Entertainment and Michael Jackson's production company are wrongfully withholding partnership agreement documents in Jones' $10 million suit alleging that Sony cheated him out of royalties on "Bad," "Thriller" and "Off the Wall."

  • January 28, 2015

    TracFone Will Pay $40 Million In FTC Throttling Suit

    TracFone Wireless Inc. will pay $40 million to consumers for falsely promising them "unlimited" data service but then slashing data transfer speeds after they exceeded certain limits, according to a deal filed in California on Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission.

  • January 28, 2015

    Contractor Funds Can't Be Withheld In Price Rows: Calif. Court

    A California appeals court on Tuesday said state law prohibits a public entity from withholding funds from a contractor in a contract price dispute, partly affirming a $9.4 million award to construction services firm FTR International Inc. in a decadelong battle with the Rio School District.

  • January 28, 2015

    Ivanhoe, Veritas Drop $190M To Grow San Francisco Portfolio

    Real estate investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge on Wednesday said it has teamed up with Veritas Investments Inc. to buy up 11 properties in San Francisco for $190 million, to continue to grow their jointly owned residential portfolio.

  • January 27, 2015

    Calif. Appeals Court Backs Authors Of Ozzy Guitarist Book

    A California appeals court ruled Monday that the authors of a book on deceased Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads had a First Amendment right to publish it despite claims by Rhoads' family that they used materials provided solely for a documentary film.

  • January 27, 2015

    ‘American Idol’ Winner Launches Fight To End Talent Deal

    "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips is asking the California Labor Commissioner to void his contracts with "Idol" producer 19 Entertainment Inc., claiming the company acted without a talent agent license and put its own interests above his.

  • January 27, 2015

    Sly Stone Wins Contract Suit Against Ex-Manager, Atty

    A California jury on Tuesday awarded at least $2.5 million to Sly Stone, finding that the company owned by the rock legend’s former manager Gerald Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone breached its employment agreement with the singer.

  • January 27, 2015

    Jury Says Rox Willfully Infringed Quiksilver's Roxy Mark

    A California federal jury has found that volleyball uniform maker Rox Volleyball Inc. intentionally infringed Quiksilver Inc.'s trademark for its Roxy line of women's clothing, swimwear and accessories, causing dilution of the trademark.

  • January 27, 2015

    Calif. Judge Must Rethink Immigrant’s Claim Over Atty Advice

    A California appeals court on Tuesday ordered a lower court to reconsider a permanent resident's bid to withdraw a felony guilty plea that triggered a deportation order after he argued his lawyer told him he could stay in the country, ruling the judge failed to explain himself.

Expert Analysis

  • Iskanian V. CLS Will Continue To Divide Calif. Courts

    Regina Silva

    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent denial to hear Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC means it remains good law and is binding on all state courts. However, since California federal courts appear to have no intention of following the opinion, legal observers should expect significant forum shopping by litigants going forward, says Regina Silva, senior counsel at Tyson & Mendes LLP and a former prosecutor.

  • How To Fix College Football's Legal Issues

    James Gulotta Jr.

    Baseball and basketball players have professional employment opportunities at an early age — there is no reason why football players should not have similar opportunities. If the National Football League's three-season waiting rule were lifted, much of the confusion affecting college football resolves into clarity, says James Gulotta Jr. of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: 2014 JPML Practice Trends

    Alan E. Rothman

    At its December session, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation considered the second attempt by a distributor of dietary supplements to create an MDL proceeding, raising the prospect of the first Hawaii MDL proceeding in nearly 20 years. But as we gear up for the panel hearing on Thursday, let's also consider how JPML trends of 2014 compare with prior years, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Normal Contract Rules Apply For E-Signing In Calif.

    Alan S. Kaplinsky

    A California appellate court's recent ruling in Ruiz v. Moss Bros. Auto Group Inc. shows that, even though nearly all jurisdictions recognize the legal effect of electronic signatures, employers must be able to establish that the electronic signature was the act of the employee, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Caution To Landlords: Calif. Nonwaiver Clauses Revisited

    Sylvia S. Arostegui

    Historically, California landlords have taken refuge in the protections afforded by including a nonwaiver clause in their leases. And under most circumstances, courts will enforce such nonwaiver provisions. But there are exceptions that can leave landlords without the protection they expect, says Sylvia Arostegui of Nossaman LLP.

  • Generic Drug Cos. Face Failure-To-Warn Claims In Calif.

    Erin M. Bosman

    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent denial to hear an appeal involving failure-to-warn claims against generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in Teva Pharms. USA Inc. v. Super. Ct. provides California plaintiffs claiming injury from generic drugs with a trifecta of liability theories, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Calif. Land Grant Case May Change Railroad Rights Of Way

    Neil M. Soltman

    A California appellate court's recent ruling in Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines Inc. is likely to significantly affect the relationships between railroads and their subsurface tenants on rights of way that were originally granted by the government, particularly in the western part of the country, say Neil Soltman and Michael Kerr of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • 5 Employment Laws Calif. Businesses Should Know In 2015

    Hilary Weddell

    The California Legislature recently enacted a number of wide-ranging employment laws that will affect California businesses in 2015, including expanded discrimination protections to interns, required anti-bullying training and a codified joint employer liability, says Hilary Weddell of McManis Faulkner.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Confusion Persists Over Medical Marijuana Enforcement

    Daniel J. Hurteau

    While the recently enacted omnibus spending bill allows for state implementation of existing medical marijuana laws, it appears to largely be a symbolic victory for the medical marijuana industry. The ambiguity inherent in the spending bill raises more questions than it answers and may not completely divert the U.S. Department of Justice's attention away from medical marijuana, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.