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Published Opinions:

  • Lydig Construction, Inc. v. Martinez Steel Corporation

    (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 937, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 329

    Attorneys: Richard Wittbrodt, Sara Kornblatt

    In a case of first impression in California, the Court of Appeal held that, as a matter of law, a defendant opposing a writ of attachment is required to establish the probable validity of its cross-claim in order to obtain the offset permitted by Code of Civil Procedure section 483.015.

  • Oxbow Carbon & Minerals, LLC v. Department of Industrial Relations

    194 Cal.App.4th 538 (2011)

    Attorney: Gary Scalabrini

    Oxbow Carbon & Minerals, LLC, appealed from a judgment denying its petition for writ of mandate. The petition for writ of mandate followed an adverse administrative ruling by respondents State of California, Department of Industrial Relations (Department or DIR), and its director, John C. Duncan (Director). The Director found that work performed under two separate contracts constituted “public works” pursuant to Labor Code section 1720 because the work was paid for in part out of public funds, and it was therefore subject to California’s prevailing wage law. The trial court agreed, and the appellate court affirmed.

  • MW Erectors, Inc. v. Niederhauser Ornamental and Metal Works Company Inc., et al.

    36 Cal.4th 412, 30 Cal.Rptr.3d 755 (2006)

    Attorneys: Richard Wittbrodt

    California State Supreme Court held for our client MW Erectors that even though it was not licensed at the time it entered into one of two contracts for the installation of certain metal and steel on a private project, it was not prevented from seeking compensation under that contract since it was properly licensed at the time it began work and thus, Business & Professions Code section 7031(a) was not applicable.

  • State Drywall, Inc. v. Rhodes Design & Development

    127 P.3d 1082 (Nev.Sup.Ct. 2006)

    Attorney: Ron Sofen

    This breach of contract action determined that plaintiff is entitled to prejudgment interest on money paid under the contract during a pending collection suit, even though that payment is not included in the principal amount of the subsequent judgment. For purposes of determining cost-shifting under NRCP 68(g) and NRS 17.115(5), the court concluded that pre-offer prejudgment interest must be computed on payments made during the pendency of the suit and added to the actual judgment when it is compared to the offer of judgment despite the offer’s silence on the inclusion of interest.

  • In re Kaypro (Arrow Electronics, Inc. v. Justus)

    218 F.3d 1070 (9thCir. 2000)

    Attorney: Gary Scalabrini

    Consolidated appeals from orders of the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (“BAP”), the court was asked to decide whether the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California erred in determining that certain payments made to two of the debtor’s suppliers were avoidable under 11 U.S.C. S 547(b) as preferential transfers. The bankruptcy court ruled that the ordinary course of business exception, under 11 U.S.C. S 547(c)(2), did not apply as a matter of law to debt restructuring agreements, and granted partial summary judgment on that basis. The BAP disagreed, holding that the issue of whether payments under a restructuring agreement are made in the ordinary course of business is a question of fact that depends on the parties’ dealings and industry practice. The BAP nevertheless affirmed the partial summary judgment rulings on the basis that the evidence of record failed to raise a triable issue. The appellate court held the evidence was sufficient to create genuine issues of material fact as to whether the challenged payments qualified under the ordinary course of business exception, and therefore reversed and remanded the matter for a trial on that issue. In all other respects -the use of a fact-dependent test, the sufficiency of the evidence to show the debtor’s insolvency, and the propriety of the bankruptcy court’s having granted a motion for reconsideration on the statute of limitations issue the appellate court affirmed the BAP’s rulings.

  • 65 Butterfield v. Chicago Title Insurance

    70 Cal.App.4th 1047 (Cal. Ct. App. 1999)

    Attorney: Anya Stanley

    A California Limited partnership (Butterfield), brought an action on a title insurance policy issued by respondent Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago) after the County of Riverside (County) claimed an easement on property owned by Butterfield. The lower court ruled there was no coverage under the policy, and, in any event, the statute of limitations had expired. The court also awarded Chicago its expert costs and attorney fees pursuant to section 998 and former section 1021.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The appellate court affirmed the judgment based on the statute of limitations and upheld the award of fees and costs.

  • Dieker v. Peelle Financial

    60 Cal.App.4th 288 (Cal. Ct. App. 1997)

    Attorney: Anya Stanley

    This case arose from the actions of a title insurance company which issued a policy insuring title to a property without excepting an Internal Revenue Service lien despite its knowledge of the lien’s existence. The insurance company sought to recover the amount eventually paid to the IRS on behalf of its policyholder from the trustee who, lacking knowledge of the existence of the lien, conducted a foreclosure sale years earlier without notifying the IRS. The policyholder joined in the suit against the trustee. There is no requirement of the trustee is to notify the IRS under the terms of a federal statute.

  • Johnson Controls, Inc. v. California Fair Employment & Housing Comm.

    218 CA 3d 517 (Ca. Ct. Appl. 1990)

    Attorney: Jerry Griffin

    Nothing in law or reason mandated the Commission to depart from settled principles of discrimination law in order to excuse the Company’s categorical discrimination. Exceptions to the statutory mandate are limited to those situations where the danger to the existence of the business justifies allowing the discriminatory practice.

  • Bravo v. Buelow

    168 Cal.App.3d 208 (Cal. Ct. App. 1985)

    Attorney: Ron Sofen

    In this case the court held that the purchaser of real property, as an incident to an underlying decree of specific performance, is entitled to compensation for increased costs of intended construction of a home occasioned by the seller’s delay in conveying title.

  • Carlson v. Wald

    151 CA 3d 598 (Ca. Ct. Appl. 1984)

    Attorney: Jerry Griffin

    This appeal arises from a fight between two coworkers, Harry Carlson and Arnold Wald. In this action, Carlson sued Wald for assault and battery and Wald cross-complained in kind. Mrs. Wald sued Carlson in a separate lawsuit, now consolidated with her husband’s action, for loss of consortium resulting from the same fight. The Walds appeal from the trial court’s summary judgments adjudicating that there was no merit in Wald’s cross-complaint or Mrs. Wald’s complaint. The summary judgments were grounded on Carlson’s arguments that the Walds were bound under res judicata by a prior workers’ compensation judgment and, as to Mrs. Wald only, that she suffered, at best, a noncompensable partial loss of consortium. The court disagreed and reversed the ruling.

  • Miller v. Merzinger

    91 Cal.App.3d 31 (Cal. Ct. App. 1979)

    Attorney: Ron Sofen

    Plaintiffs Margaret Miller and her adult children appeal from a summary judgment in favor of defendants Lewis Metzinger and Sepulveda & Metzinger, a professional corporation, in plaintiffs’ suit for attorney malpractice. The court reversed the judgment  and remanded the cause to the trial court for further proceedings.