On April 21, 2021, the Second Appellate District of the Court of Appeal of the State of California filed an unpublished opinion rejecting Uber’s attempt to enforce an arbitration provision that waived an employee’s right to bring a claim under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). This statute authorizes “aggrieved employees” to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties from employers for violations of the California labor code.
A recent California Court of Appeal decision highlights the narrow construction given to the commercial speech exemption of California’s anti-SLAPP statute, and the burden on plaintiffs opposing an anti-SLAPP motion on the basis of the exemption.
Trying to collect attorney’s fees based on a void contract? Surprisingly, you can, according to a recent California Court of Appeal case. In California-American Water Co. v. Marina Coast Water Dist., the California Court of Appeal held that prevailing parties were entitled to recover attorney’s fees and costs based on a contract, even though the underlying contract at issue in the litigation was declared – void.
California defendants in class actions should be wary of seeking a strategic advantage by litigating before seeking to compel arbitration. The Court of Appeal held recently in Sprunk v. Prisma LLC that a defendant in class action litigation can waive its right to seek arbitration against absent, unnamed class members by deciding not to compel arbitration against the named plaintiff within a reasonable timeframe.
When a contract awards attorneys’ fees to one party in a contract action, California Civil Code § 1717 intervenes by a) directing the attorney’s fees to the prevailing party, regardless of the party awarded fees in the contract, and b) requiring the court to fix the attorney’s fees as an element of the costs of suit. But does § 1717 supplant the right to a jury trial in situations where attorney’s fees are sought as damages, instead of as costs? As the California Court of Appeal recently held in Monster, LLC v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County: No.
A California Court of Appeal recently provided a reminder that under Code of Civil Procedure § 368, assignment of a right to recover money or other personal property (“a thing in action”) is subject to any defense existing at or before notice of the assignment, including defenses regarding the assignor’s corporate status. Thus, an assignee of rights held by a corporation suspended pursuant to California Revenue and Taxation Code § 22301 may face difficulty enforcing those rights while the assigning corporation remains suspended.