Publications Archives

Seller Beware: Disclosing Construction Defects and Lawsuits in the Sale of a Residence

By: Lance A. Adair

The old saying "let the buyer beware" is of little relevance to California real estate transactions. If you are contemplating the sale of your home in California and have had construction defects or a prior lawsuit involving defects in your home, you should be aware of the basic disclosure requirements under California law.

Requests for Admission - A Back Door to Recovery of Attorney's Fees in Personal Injury Cases

Under California law, an award of attorney's fees is typically not available to a prevailing party at trial. The most common exceptions to this rule are statutes authorizing recovery of attorney's fees for particular actions and contracts authorizing recovery of attorney's fees in breach of contract actions. However, in personal injury lawsuits, the loser typically does not pay the winner's attorney's fees.

When Howell V. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. ("Howell") Meets The Uninsured Plaintiff

By: Grant R. Mullen

In Bermudez v. Ciolek (No. G049510, filed June 22, 2015, Superior Court Case No. 30-2012-00539759), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, held that an uninsured plaintiff's (no medical insurance) unpaid medical bills, substantiated by medical expert testimony regarding the reasonableness and necessity of the medical charges, were properly admitted and were sufficient evidence to support an award of damages.

Let it Fall! - Court of Appeals Precludes Recovery of Preventive Costs under Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy

By: Paul T. McBride

In Grebow v. Mercury Insurance, published on October 23, 2015, the Court of Appeals rejected a homeowners' claim that an implied duty to reimburse costs incurred by the homeowner to prevent an insurable loss is imposed on a homeowners' insurance carrier. At first blush, this decision may appear unfair, since the homeowners efforts saved the carrier money in the long run. However, the Court justified its conclusion by stating that the homeowners' argument would convert a loss policy into a maintenance agreement, which is not what the parties intended when the policy was purchased.

Employment - Related Bills Pending in California Legislature

It's that time again to take a look at just some of the employment-related bills that are pending in the California Legislature. Most employers are still reeling from the historic paid sick leave bill that became effective July 1, 2015. However, there are a few bills that are steadily making their way through the Assembly and Senate that bear review and monitoring.

When Howell V. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. ("Howell") Meets The Uninsured Plaintiff

By: Grant R. Mullen

In Bermudez v. Ciolek (No. G049510, filed June 22, 2015, Superior Court Case No. 30-2012-00539759), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, held that an uninsured plaintiff's (no medical insurance) unpaid medical bills, substantiated by medical expert testimony regarding the reasonableness and necessity of the medical charges, were properly admitted and were sufficient evidence to support an award of damages.

Who and What Does Uninsured Motorist Provisions Cover

By: Melissa Bright

In Nevada, in determining as to whether a claim of injury is covered by the uninsured provision of an insurance policy depends on the interpretation of the uninsured provision. The court will look at the insurance contract in determining what individuals are covered in the provision and what injuries the individual may recover. Further, unless an uninsured motorist provision specifies that punitive damages will be included, punitive damages are not covered in an uninsured motorist provision.

Considering Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A chapter 7 bankruptcy is more commonly referred to as a "liquidation" or "straight" bankruptcy, meaning that an individual debtor's assets will be liquidated by a court appointed trustee, and the proceeds, if any, will be used to pay off - pro rata - the debts owed to creditors. The debtor will then be declared debt-free, and will be able to wipe the financial slate clean. With that being said, let's explore some questions you may have in deciding whether you should file a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

Entry of Judgment Pursuant to Terms of Stipulation for Settlement - Avoiding Pitfalls in the Use of CCP Sections 664.6 and 664.7

You have worked very hard to get a case ready for settlement or trial and the parties are now ready to settle the case in its entirety. You, the parties and counsel have spent hours hammering the general terms of the settlement out and you want to put the terms on the record or in writing quickly, so the settlement can be enforced as a judgment, if necessary, pursuant to CCP Sections 664.6 (non-construction defect matters) and 664.7 (residential construction defect matters). There are essential conditions you must follow if you want to use these code sections successfully to enforce the settlement you worked so hard to reach.

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