California Public Records Requests Limited by Courts

Does a Public Records Request Reach City Official’s Personal Emails?  Probably Not. The Court Of Appeal of California, in the Sixth Appellate District, in City Of San Jose Et Al., v. Superior Court Of Santa Clara County, Respondent, Ted Smith, Real Party In Interest, Case No. H039498, has restricted the scope of the California Public Records Act, Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.…

Expert Witness Fees Are Available Under California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

Recover Expert Witness Fees Under FEHA If You Plan it Right Litigation attorneys frequently think about making a settlement offer under Code of Civil Procedure section 998.  If the defendant does not accept the offer and the plaintiff achieves a result that is greater than the offer, the Court can award expert witness fees.  Let’s face…

The Court of Appeal Denies Request to Recover Attorney Fees to a Pro Per Law Firm Litigant Represented by its own Associate

The Court of Appeal Denies Request to Recover Attorney Fees to Pro Per Law Firm Represented by its own Associate By Matthew Clarke Pro Per litigants who prevail may not recover attorney fees because no fees were actually “incurred.”  Trope v. Katz (1995) 11 Cal.4th 274, 280.  But a corporate litigant represented by in-house counsel…

Attorneys May Include Binding Arbitration Agreement In Retainer Agreements – Attorneys Should (But Are Not Obligated To) Explain The Terms To “Sophisticated” Clients

Attorneys May Include Binding Arbitration Agreement in the Retainer – Attorneys Should (But Are Not Obligated To) Explain The Terms To “Sophisticated” Clients State Bar Formal Opinion No. 1977-47 found it unethical for an attorney to enter into a binding arbitration agreement with a client for malpractice claims unless the attorney fully advised the client…

The California Court of Appeal Chips Away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, et ux.

The California Court of Appeal Chips Away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s Class Action Decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, et ux. [1] By: Matthew M. Clarke On April 27, 2011, the United States Supreme Court decided AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion[2]  by a 5 to 4 vote.  That decision established that the Federal…

Construction Law Changes – 2011

Construction Law Changes – 2011 As in so many other areas, 2011 has brought several changes to the legal landscape in construction.  Changes To Mechanic’s Lien Procedure: A set of simple but important changes to the Mechanics lien statutes went into effect January 1, 2011.  (AB 457.)  These changes are:  1) the Mechanic’s lien form…

Provisional Remedies in a Wave of Foreclosures

Provisional Remedies in a Wave of Foreclosures By Matt Clarke, February 2011 According to RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com), one in every two hundred California housing units received a foreclosure notice in January 2011.  The hardest hit areas are in the middle of the state, starting in Riverside County, and northward through San Bernardino County, Kern County, Tulare,…

How far will the SLAPP Statute go? Recent Developments show it Extends to Residential Home Transactions where, much to the Chagrin of Homeowners, Renters Inform Potential Buyers of Sex Offenders in the Neighborhood.

How far will the SLAPP Statute go?  Recent Developments show it Extends to Residential Home Transactions where, much to the Chagrin of Homeowners, Renters Inform Potential Buyers of Sex Offenders in the Neighborhood. By: Dugan P. Kelley, July 2011 Remember the saying growing up, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything…

A Cheater’s Guide To Zealous Advocacy

A Cheater’s Guide To Zealous Advocacy By Matt Mong The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District recently affirmed the old adage that “cheaters never prosper,” in Yu v. University of La Verne, (2011) No. B229949.  Specifically, the Court held that a law school dean’s decision to increase a student’s punishment for plagiarism…