Litigation is expensive. Some costs are absolute! Court fees are non-negotiable. Third party fees such as court reporters, depositions, process servers and others continue to rise. Attorney fees are expensive. What do you do if you need to file a lawsuit against a person or business?
You read in a newspaper or online a new commercial development has been approved by the City/County in your neighborhood. You do not want the commercial development. What can you do to stop it?
Litigation, and all legal representation, creates by necessity an abondonment of "secrets" by the client. The abondoment of "secrets" by the client is protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege.
From time to time, civil litigation requires that a litigant sue a dissolved corporation. At common law, a corporation ceased to exist and could not sue or be sued once it had dissolved, but the California legislature abandoned these common law rules in 1929. See Penasquitos, Inc. v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal. 3d 1180, 1184-85.
In a strange story, an El Segundo police officer and several other named plaintiffs have initiated class action litigation against a group of surfers referred to as the Lunada Bay Boys, the City of Palos Verdes Estates, and the city's chief of police. The plaintiffs allege that "non-resident, non-local visiting beachgoers to Palos Verdes Estates have been unlawfully excluded from recreational opportunities at Palos Verdes Estates parks, beaches, and access to the ocean." Further, the plaintiffs argue that the Lunada Bay Boys, with the approval of the city, have "knowingly built and maintain an unpermitted masonry-rock-and-wood fort and seat area in violation of the California Coastal Act."
Any member of an HOA board or management company is aware the extreme costs lawsuits can pose to the association no matter how frivolous the suit is. Homeowner's associations can greatly benefit from the use of Motions for Sanctions under California's Code of Civil Procedure Section 128.7.
Last week, it was reported that a San Diego corporation, Trovagene, Inc., fired and initiated business litigation against two of its executives - CEO Antonius Schuh and CFO Stephen Zaniboni. In that lawsuit, the corporation alleges that the two executives breached their fiduciary duties by usurping a corporate opportunity that should have been presented to the corporation, but was instead taken for the personal gain of the executives. Schuh and Zaniboni deny the allegation and released a statement claiming that "there are no merits to the actions the company has taken against us." Schuh has since stated that he plans to file a lawsuit against Trovagene for wrongful termination, which he expects Zaniboni to join. Unfortunately, this sequence of events is not uncommon when the relationship between a business and an executive sours.
In a move that many people would consider questionable, Bill Cosby moved forward to use an umbrella policy tied to his homeowners' insurance to pay his legal fees and any potential judgments stemming from the litigation brought against him. This attempt, however, has been challenged by his insurance company, American International Group (AIG), who argues that Cosby isn't covered because of exclusions for sexual misconduct. In November, a federal judge ruled against AIG and found that the exclusion doesn't apply because Cosby's statements, not his alleged sexual misconduct, are the subject-matter of the pending defamation lawsuits (ten women across three states). Since then, AIG has stated that they plan to appeal the ruling and have amended their complaint citing other reasons that they shouldn't be required to cover Mr. Cosby.
LEGAL TRENDS IN CALIFORNIA: SUPER-MAJORITY REQUIREMENT TO INCREASE TAXES AT PERIL
Chris Neri, Assistant Commissioner - Subdivision Division of Bureau of Real Estate ("BRE") released on March 4, 2016 a memorandum regarding subdivision documents which require arbitration and prohibit class actions. The Chris Neri memorandum, in part, states that: