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  • Appeal by a customer, following the trial court’s judgment on the pleadings, alleging that a drug store discriminated against her on the basis of race in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, engaged in unfair business practices, and falsely imprisoned her. The store denied any racial animus, claiming instead that in limiting the use of coupons to a single set of purchases, its manager complied with the Department of Treasury’s Prepaid Access Rules on anti-money laundering. When the customer confronted the manager and refused to leave after her purchase, the store called the police, who encouraged the customer to leave the premises without incident. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Class action by current and former nonexempt workers alleging that their employer, a commercial and industrial insulation business, engaged in wage-and-hour violations, including failure to pay for overtime, minimum wages, meal periods, meal period premiums, final wages and timely wages; failure to maintain compliant wage statements and accurate payroll records, reimburse business expenses; and engagement in unfair business practices. Employer denied these claims and moved to compel arbitration under the collective bargaining agreements (CBA). The trial court held the CBA did not clearly waive the judicial forum and the arbitration provisions were unconscionable. Defendant appealed. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by public relations company challenging the trial court’s grant of an anti-SLAPP motion in favor of a personal service business on its assigned indemnity rights. The underlying complaints, cross-complaint and partial settlement arose from a right of publicity action on the misuse of several models’ names and likenesses by its agent and the public relations company. The public relations company asserted that the trial court erred in granting the personal services businesses’ anti-SLAPP motion. Resolved globally on second mediation by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by a female student challenging the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of her former university. Student alleged that the university had negligently hired, supervised, and retained a male residential assistant, who sexually assaulted her in her campus dormitory. The trial court had sustained demurrers without leave to amend on student’s Bane Civil Rights Act, Unruh Civil Rights Act, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. On her negligent supervision claim, the court found that there was no actual or constructive notice of the residential assistant’s history or potential to commit sexual assault, that the university had regularly trained all its residential assistants on university policy, and that the university’s Title IX office had immediately investigated and disciplined the perpetrator after the student complained. On appeal, the student alleged the lower court erred in its analysis of negligent supervision. The university asserted that the trial court’s ruling was correct and should be affirmed. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by finance lender and broker challenging the trial court’s sustaining of a demurrer without leave to amend in favor of a county on a quiet title action. Lender-broker sought to reduce its payoff amount from the Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) Program, alleging that the assessment lien impeded its title in preparation for a sale. The trial court held that lender-broker failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, that the PACE assessment is a tax, and that county is immune from such tax actions. County alleged lender-broker failed to exhaust administrative remedies, and that California law prohibits the impediment of tax collection. Resolved following mediation.


  • Action following reversal of summary judgment on appeal by 25-year administrator alleging that her former employer, a university, violated the FEHA by discriminating against and harassing her on the basis of her gender and age, and by retaliating against her for complaining. The administrator alleged that her dean bypassed her for promotion, and instead appointed younger, less qualified candidates whom he favored. The candidate who was promoted allegedly determined that job vacancies should be filled by “younger” candidates, easing out long-time employees, including the administrator. When the administrator complained, her responsibilities were removed such that she felt obsolete and was compelled to resign. The university denied these claims and alleged that the complaint was untimely filed. The trial court granted summary judgment for the university. The Court of Appeal reversed and remanded. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by general manager after the trial court sustained demurrers on various counts and removed co-defendants on his race employment discrimination action. General manager alleged that his former employer, a production company, violated the FEHA by discriminating against him on the basis of race, retaliated against him after he filed his DFEH complaints, breached his employment contract, and wrongfully terminated him in violation of public policy. Employer denied the charges, alleging that general manager had bullied employees in violation of company policy, and that customers had complained about his performance. Resolved globally in both the appellate and trial courts by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by a funeral home challenging the trial court’s default judgment in an action brought by parents, Mexican tourists whose child died unexpected while visiting California, for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant to provide dignified funeral services, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud.  Parents alleged that funeral home had filed incorrect paperwork, untimely transported the body back to Mexico, mishandled the corpse, and delayed the burial of their child.  Funeral home alleged that it had fulfilled the terms of the contract as written, and that it was the victim of the ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by commercial landlord, a medical building, challenging the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of commercial tenant, a physician, alleging breach of lease, holdover tenancy, and failure to pay common area maintenance.  Physician cross-complained alleging that the lease had expired eight years ago, that for 13 years he had timely paid rent as a month-to-month tenant to three prior landlords and the current landlord, that no treble rent was due, and that landlord owed physician attorneys’ fees. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by consumer challenging the trial court’s post-trial determination of bad faith prosecution and award of attorneys’ fees/costs to the defense. The consumer alleged that the auto dealership violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act by charging him more than the MSRP sticker price and that he sued in good faith.The auto dealership alleged the consumer had buyer’s remorse, sued in bad faith, provided testimony that contradicted his complaint, and caused the dealership to expend resources in mounting a defense, which it won. Resolved following mediation.


  • Appeal by consumer challenging the trial court’s denial of class certification in an action against mattress store alleging unfair competition and unfair advertising of its mattress size and price matching offer. Mattress store alleged consumer lacked standing, her claim had no merit, she had kept and enjoyed the mattress she bought, and she had declined a full refund. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by police officer, who prevailed below, challenging the trial court’s rulings and jury verdict in a personal injury action from a traffic accident. When defendant, a driver, made a left turn, the officer fell from his bicycle and sustained injury. The trial court precluded a non-retained, treating physician from opining as an expert witness on medical records the doctor had not reviewed.  Defendant admitted liability, but disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by subcontractor, an electrical business, challenging the trial court’s judgment in a mechanic’s lien action against a building contractor and a property owner on construction of a condominium complex. Subcontractor alleged both the contractor and owner failed to fully compensate it for services rendered. Contractor alleged owner failed to fully compensate it for its work.  Owner alleged contractor and subcontractor failed to complete the job and performed substandard work, creating delay, cost overruns and habitability problems.  Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by a county after plaintiff, mother of a deceased newborn, won a jury verdict.  Mother alleged that  the county coroner’s office had violated a mandatory duty under statute by cremating her baby without adequate notice and prior authorization, and that county had waited too long to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, actions that caused mother serious emotional distress.  County alleged that it had not violated a mandatory duty under statute, that it had left a voice mail notice for mother about the cremation, and that mother had failed to timely pick up her voice mail.  Mother cross appealed on some of the claims not adjudicated at trial.  Her attorneys’ fee motion was pending.  Resolved in mediation.


  • Appeal by employer, a management services organization for hospital-based physician groups, and its lead doctor challenging the trial court’s denial of their motion to compel arbitration. Former employee, a hospital coordinator, alleged that doctor had created a hostile work environment by his sexually explicit texts and conduct, and that employer had retaliated by wrongfully terminating her after she complained. The defense alleged employee was terminated for poor performance. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by parent alleging a county child protective agency had wrongfully and permanently removed her child without a warrant. She further alleged that the government made false statements about her perceived mental disability in violation of her constitutional due process under 42 U.S.C. §1983, and discriminated against her in violation of the ADA and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, warranting higher attorneys' fees than the amount awarded at trial. The government's cross-appeal alleged plaintiff was not regarded as having a disability, as well as res judicata, instructional error, qualified immunity, lack of substantial evidence, and insufficiency of the evidence. Case litigated for seven years. Resolved in mediation.

  • Appeal by confirmation director with 32 years of service alleging her former employer, a church, wrongfully terminated her in retaliation for being a whistleblower about its financial, employment, record keeping and clergy activities. She also alleged the church breached its oral and implied contract to not terminate her except for good cause, defamed her, and intentionally caused her emotional distress. The employer alleged that the former employee was terminated for insubordination and disruptive behavior. The trial court sustained the church's demurrers, granted summary adjudication, and assessed costs in favor of the employer. The former employee alleged insufficient evidence, reversible error and abuse of discretion on appeal. Resolved in mediation.

  • Appeal by former employer, a solar company, challenging an order denying its motion to compel arbitration of a wage-and-hour and Private Attorney General’s Act (PAGA) action brought by its former employee, an installation supervisor. The employer alleged the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts PAGA. The employee alleged the FAA does not preempt PAGA. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

  • Appeal by former employer, a bank, challenging an arbitrator’s award of six figures in  plaintiff's attorneys’ fees when the employee had lost on all but one of her many employment claims, awarding $100 out of her multi-million-dollar demand. The employer alleged that any attorneys’ fees should be commensurate with the limited arbitration award. The employee alleged that courts must defer to the arbitrator’s discretion. Resolved in mediation.

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