Publications Archives

Breaking News: California Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Employers in Regards to Class Action Waivers, But Not In Regards to PAGA Claims

Posted on July 10, 2014

By: Allyson K. Thompson

On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a long awaited opinion in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014 WL 2808963). Long awaited is an understatement, as the underlying case was filed in 2006. The issue of whether class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable has been ruled on differently by several courts over the past several years, based on reliance on Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443. In Gentry, the California Supreme Court previously ruled that class action waivers in arbitration agreements were unconscionable and against public policy, and were not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

Defending Against Requests for Taking Depositions of Apex Witnesses

An "Apex Witness" is the person that sits at the highest level of a large organization, such as the Chairman of the Board, President of the Company, or Chief Executive Order. Most courts throughout the country recognize that deposition notices directed at an official at the apex of a company creates tremendous potential for abuse or harassment. Celerity, Inc. v. Ultra Cleaning Holding, Inc., 2007 WL 205067 (N.D. Cal. 2007). As such, it is prudent to file a Motion for Protective Order to prevent the deposition of the apex witness, especially when it is clear that there are other less intrusive means of obtaining the same discovery.

Privacy Rights and the Public Records Act

Competing interests of transparency in government and elected officials and government employees' right to privacy has stirred up a debate throughout California. A recent California appellate court ruled that government officials and employees' private communications sent on personal devices and not stored on public servers are not subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). City of San Jose v. Superior Court(2014) 169 Cal. Rptr.3d 840. This case addresses the important debate encompassing transparency in public agencies versus a public employee's right to privacy. The scope of this issue is evident as the California Supreme Court has recently decided to step in and settle the heated debate.

Evidence Preservation, Spoliation, and the Potential for Adverse Inferences

The Nevada Supreme Court has held that a litigant is under a duty to preserve evidence which it knows or reasonably should know is relevant to an action, even where an action has not been commenced and there is only a potential for litigation. Fire Insurance Exchange v. Zenith Radio, Corp., 103 Nev. 648 (1987). In fact, sanctions under Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b) may be imposed for willful suppression or destruction of evidence which is clearly relevant, whether or not the party has been expressly ordered to produce the evidence. See Bass-Davis v. Davis, 122 Nev. 442 (2006). The entry of liability against a party destroying evidence is also an appropriate sanction under NRCP 37. Fire Insurance Exchange v. Zenith Radio, Corp., 103 Nev. at 648.

Beware: A Snazzy Job Title Does Not Automatically Make an Employee Exempt

Many unwary employers fall into the trap of giving an employee the title of "Manager" or "Supervisor" only to find out that in fact the employee was misclassified. One of the most common mistakes an employer can make is to assume that a job title alone makes an employee "exempt" versus being "non-exempt."

What is "FLARPL"?

Posted on April 30, 2014

By: David L. Miller

Where am I going to come up with the money to hire an experienced family law attorney to represent me in my divorce? This question is asked by many spouses who have just been served with divorce papers, or who wish to end their marriage. The majority of the time, a client with less financial ability than the other spouse will borrow the money family law attorneys require before accepting a case (i.e., the "initial deposit"). The lender is usually a parent, sibling or good friend. However, for many people, this is just not possible.

The U Visa: Immigration Protection for Those Suffering Serious Crimes

The U Visa, specifically provided to aliens who are victims of certain serious crimes, is one of the more recent changes in the United States' immigration scheme. This unique visa was enacted by Congress to serve two important purposes: to enhance law enforcement's ability to investigate and prosecute cases of serious crime; and to offer immigration protection to the victims of such crimes who may otherwise be fearful of assisting law enforcement. Although the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) started rolling out the U Visa in 2009, many aliens and undocumented immigrants are unaware of this potential source of immigration relief.

Never lose sight of the most important aspect of your divorce: your children

Couples going through a divorce are often so immersed in fighting with the other party that they forget the most important thing about their divorce: their children. Instead, parties become short, aggravated and distant with their children because they have expended all of their energy fighting with their ex-spouse.

When Co-Parenting Seems Impossible

Posted on March 21, 2014

By: Hoang-Anh Zapien

When you cannot stand to be in the same room as your ex-spouse, having to co-parent with the other person seems difficult, if not impossible. But as unattainable as it seems, giving up on co-parenting is not an option if you want to do what is in the best interests of your children. Effective co-parenting is integral in helping children overcome divorce.

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