When Californians first passed an initiative precluding the charging of “usurious” interest in 1918, they could hardly have imagined the ever-more sophisticated schemes and exceptions allowing lenders to charge interest exponentially higher than the stated maximum rate of 10 percent. In Bock v. California Capital Loan Inc., a California Court of Appeal recently introduced yet another exception to a seemingly simple prohibition, say Brian Lauter and Mark Madnick of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.
Presumably in response to developing law on the scope of additional insured coverage, the Insurance Services Office has recently revised its standard commercial general liability forms and endorsements. Although the true scope of their effect is unclear, the revisions can further complicate an already complex area and negatively impact both additional and named insureds, says Roberta Anderson of K&L Gates LLP.
There are several critical decision factors to weigh to assess whether Technology Assisted Review is right for a discovery project — for example, the nature of the case, internal capabilities, production considerations and overall comfort with this technology, say Michele Lange and Joseph White of Kroll Ontrack Inc.
In recent years, the once-amicable and prompt appraisal process has devolved into nonjudicial dispute resolution devoid of procedural rules — how do we rein in the appraisal process? The best answer may be to revise the standard appraisal provision, which would eliminate most of the commonly occurring disputes, say attorneys with Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.
As the Florida real estate market continues to face an uncertain future, the purchase and sale of distressed properties and mortgage loans encumbering such properties present some challenges — making it a prudent time to review what constitutes a valid property description in an agreement for the sale of real property, says Sean O'Toole of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed PA.
Recently, the Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed consideration of new regulations for lender-placed insurance, specifically over sales commissions and reinsurance activities. Lender-placed insurance has long-raised regulatory and litigation concerns, and the prospect of new FHFA regulations is an important issue for lenders, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
Notwithstanding recent press stories to the contrary, the IRS has not expanded the definition of “real estate” to make the REIT structure more widely available than Congress originally intended. Rather, the IRS has interpreted the definition with remarkable consistency — which we believe will continue with Iron Mountain's planned conversion to a real estate investment trust, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
A wave of large lawsuits could be coming against solar panel manufacturers, panel distributors and dealers and contractors — what can businesses expect when they turn to their insurance companies for help with these claims? Unfortunately, history shows that insurance companies will refuse to honor coverage and aggressively fight when policyholders are forced to sue, says Scott Turner of Anderson Kill & Olick PC.
Insurers may not normally be concerned with governmental takings or ways to allocate the cost of public improvements, but they should not overlook an inverse condemnation cause of action in California because that claim allows the recovery of damages when property is damaged because of a public use, says James Koelzer of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.
The resolution of class actions or multidistrict litigation cases can present a number of challenges that call for the utmost in the mediator's skill and understanding. Though there is no typical complex litigation case, a mediator needs to recognize the special levels of complexity in these cases, such as litigating against "repeat players" and handling "follow-on" cases, says James Rosenbaum of JAMS.