Case News

Case Summaries

Bankruptcy Law

[06/14] Weil v. Elliott
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee's adversary proceeding seeking revocation under 11 U.S.C. section 727(d) of a debtor's discharge on the ground that the discharge was obtained by fraud, the bankruptcy court's judgment grant of summary judgment to the trustee, revoking the discharge and dismissing the action is reversed where the one-year filing deadline imposed by section 727(e)(1) is not a jurisdictional constraint, but rather is a statute of limitations.

[06/12] Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. AMH Roman Two NC, LLC
In a bank-creditor's appeal of a bankruptcy court's order cancelling its deed of trust covering a piece of real property, two years after the court order and several months after the property was sold in foreclosure to a bona fide purchaser for value, the district court's denial of the creditor's motion to set aside the bankruptcy court's order is affirmed where, at every stage of this litigation, the creditor was in the best position to protect its interests, and failed to do so.

[06/06] In Re: Ross
In an appeal by Chapter 13 debtor appealing a broad filing injunction issued against him by the Bankruptcy Court after he and his wife used the bankruptcy process to stave off the sheriff's sale of their home, the filing injunction is affirmed where a bankruptcy court has the authority to issue a filing injunction even in the context of approving a debtor's 11 U.S.C. section 1307(b) voluntary dismissal because nothing in the Bankruptcy Code's express terms says otherwise.

[06/02] Quincy Medical Center v. Gupta
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving a hospital debtor, the district court's ruling that the bankruptcy court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over former-executive-plaintiffs' post-confirmation claims for severance payments against the purchaser of debtors' assets is affirmed where the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction.

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Commercial Law

[06/21] Monster, LLC v. Beats Electronics, LLC
In a petition for writ of mandate in an underlying tort action in which Monster alleged that Beats Electronics engaged in fraud to deprive them of interest in the company, and the headphone manufacturer filed cross-claims for breach of contract and argued that the court, rather than a jury, could determine the amount of damages, the petition is granted where defendant is entitled to a jury trial on the issue of attorney's fees.

[06/21] Stadnick v. Vivint Solar, Inc.
In a securities class action complaint, the plaintiff wanted the court to apply a 1st Circuit test for financial disclosures and argued they were misled by the company, but the Court of Appeals declined to adopt the 1st Circuit test and concluded the shareholders were not misled, affirming the district court's decision.

[06/21] The Park at Cross Creek v. City of Malibu
In an action by a real estate developer seeking to strike down a voter initiative designed to limit developments, the trial court's decision is affirmed where the measure at issue exceeded the initiative power and was illegal.

[06/20] SJJC Aviation Services v. City of San Jose
In a case involving an airport lease and operating agreement, brought by a company alleging that the city had a flawed bidding process, the trial court's denial of plaintiff's leave to amend its petition and complaint is affirmed.

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Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

[06/19] Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co.
In a first party insurance bad faith action arising out of an automobile accident brought against an insurer alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, the trial court's grant of summary judgment is reversed where plaintiff demonstrated triable issues of material fact regarding whether defendant's decision she did not need expensive epidural steroid injections, was made without a good faith investigation and without a reasonable basis for a genuine dispute.

[06/12] Laymon v. J. Rockcliff, Inc.
In consolidated appeals filed suit against the brokers who represented plaintiffs in the sale of their homes and a group of companies that provided services in connection with those sales, contending defendants violated their fiduciary duties by failing to disclose alleged kickbacks paid by the service providers to the brokers in connection with the sales, the trial court's dismissal of defendants' motion to compel arbitration on two of the arbitration clauses it found inapplicable, is reversed where each of the plaintiffs executed one or the other of these two agreement.

[05/31] Heimlich v. Shivji
In an appeal involving the recoverability of costs available under Code of Civil Procedure section 998 following an American Arbitration Association (AAA) award that denied requests by both sides for damages, costs, and attorney fees, in an underlying action filed by an attorney seeking unpaid fees from his client, the trial court's order confirming the arbitration award is reversed where Client timely presented his section 998 claim for costs to the arbitrator, the arbitrator should have reached the merits of that claim, and the arbitrator's refusal to hear evidence of the section 998 offer warranted partially vacating the arbitration award.

[05/26] Chango Coffee, Inc. v. Applied Underwriters, Inc.
In an appeal of the trial court's order denying defendant's renewed petition to compel arbitration, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(b), in an underlying complaint for breach of contract, conversion and fraud against the provider of payroll services, the appeal is dismissed where an order denying a renewed motion or application under section 1008(b) is not appealable under Tate v. Wilburn (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 150.

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Judgment Enforcement

[06/07] Casiopea Bovet, LLC v. Chiang
In an action challenging the California State Controller denying its claim seeking unclaimed property held as escheated funds, the trial court's judgment on the pleadings granted in favor of the Controller is affirmed where plaintiff could not claim escheated property under the Unclaimed Property Law, Code of Civ. Proc. section 1500 et seq., as an assignee of a title company because it was a suspended corporation, Rev. & Tax. Code section 23301, which lacked legal capacity to prosecute an action.

[05/25] People ex rel. Harris v. Aguayo
In a civil enforcement action brought by the State of California against appellants for violation of the unfair competition laws (UCL), Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200 et seq., arising out of a complex real estate scam through which appellants acquired and rented real estate belonging to others, the trial court's judgment and award of damages in favor of the People is affirmed over defendants' six arguments on appeal.

[05/03] Yolanda's, Inc. v. Kahl & Goveia Commercial Real Estate
In an appeal from a post-judgment discovery order arising from a third party judgment debtor examination in an underlying action involving a breach of lease, the petition for writ of mandate is denied where the scope of questions asked by a judgment creditor in a third party judgment debtor examination may include the location of assets no longer in the possession of the third party, Code Civ. Proc. sections 708.120, 708.130, 187.

[02/02] Iraq Middle Market Dev. v. Harmoosh
In a case in which a creditor secured a judgment securing in Iraq for non-payment of a promissory note and sought to have a recognized in federal district court, the district court's judgment that the judgment was not entitled to recognition given that the parties had agreed to arbitrate their disputes, is vacated where genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether the debtor lost his right to arbitrate by utilizing the Iraqi judicial process.

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