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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

[06/26] Crupar-Weinmann v. Paris Baguette America, Inc.
Dismissal of a class-action suit alleging a willful violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) is affirmed because subsequent legislation clarified that receipts with credit card expiration dates do not raise a material risk of identity theft and no specific harm was alleged.

[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] 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] 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.

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Family Law

[06/26] Pavan v. Smith
In a case relating to same-sex marriage, Arkansas state officials refused to issue birth certificates listing the spouse when a mother in a same-sex marriage gives birth, but the court held that the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. ___ (2015) proscribes this differential treatment.

[06/16] In re A.G.
In a Father's appeals from a 12-month review hearing at which the juvenile court returned his children to their mother's care, Welf. & Inst. Code section 366.21(f), the court orders are reversed where the court erred when it found that he had been offered or provided reasonable services.

[06/13] Webb v. Webb
In a dissolution of marriage appeal, the trial court's judgment granting attorney fees is reversed where Family Code section 271 does not authorize the court to award sanctions to non-parties, but rather is intended to promote settlement of family law litigation through shifting fees between the parties to the litigation.

[06/12] Sessions v. Morales-Santana
In a case challenging the Immigration and Nationality Act's framework for U.S. citizenship from birth by a child born abroad, when one parent is a U. S. citizen and the other a citizen of another nation, the Second Circuit's decision reversing the BIA and holding unconstitutional the differential treatment of unwed mothers and fathers in section 1409, is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded where: 1) the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the Fifth Amendment's requirement that the Government accord to all persons 'the equal protection of the laws'; and 2) because this Court is not equipped to convert section 1409(c)'s exception for unwed U.S.-citizen mothers into the main rule displacing sections 1401(a)(7) and 1409(a), it falls to Congress to select a uniform prescription that neither favors nor disadvantages any person on the basis of gender.

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Injury & Tort Law

[06/22] Arnone v. Aetna Life Ins. Co.
In a case involving the denial of long-term disability benefits, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is reversed where on appeal the court applied a NY law that raises the conclusive presumption that settlements do not include costs paid by an insurer and that neither ERISA nor a choice of law provision on the insurance plan blocked the application of the 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.

[06/20] Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.

[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.

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Landlord Tenant

[06/01] Hart v. Darwish
The trial court's dismissal of a suit for malicious prosecution of an unlawful detainer action is affirmed where the rule in Wilson v. Parker, Covert & Chidester (2002) 28 Cal.4th 811, 823-824 applies--and is a subsequent malicious prosecution claim barred--when the trial court in the prior lawsuit denied the defendant's motion for judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8?1 but went on to rule in the defendant's favor.

[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.

[04/04] Danger Panda, LLC v. Launiu
In an unlawful detainer action, alleging defendants refused to vacate a unit in a building that plaintiff withdrew from residential rental use pursuant the Ellis Act, Gov. Code, section 7060 et seq., the trial court's grant of defendants' motion to quash the unlawful detainer complaint, finding that plaintiff failed to tender a relocation payment to defendants as required by section 37.9A(e) of the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance, San Francisco Administrative Code, chapter 37, is reversed where a minor is not a tenant under the Rent Ordinance provisions that pertain to Ellis Act evictions.

[03/21] Coyne v. City and County of San Francisco
In a consolidated appeal consider limits on mitigation measures a municipality may impose on landlords under the Ellis Act, when a landlord seeks to remove residential property from the rental market, two trial court judgments invalidating City-enacted ordinances increasing the relocation assistance payments property owners owe their tenants under the Ellis Act, Gov. Code section 7060 et seq., are affirmed where both ordinances facially preempted by the Act.

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Workers' Comp

[06/20] Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.

[05/22] Southern Ins. Co. v. WCAB
In an action involving a workers' compensation insurance policy that was issued based on the express representation that the covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, and after an employee was injured out of state, the insurer notified the employer that it was rescinding the policy because of the employer's misrepresentation and returned the premium, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision affirming an arbitrator's decision that, as a matter of law, the insurer could not rescind the policy and that the policy was in effect, is annulled where: 1) contrary to the arbitrator's ruling, a workers' compensation insurance policy may be rescinded; and 2) the arbitrator and the appeals board did not address and determine whether rescission was a meritorious defense to the employee's claim.

[04/26] City of Jackson v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation case, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision disregarding the apportionment determination of the qualified medical evaluator (QME) on the ground the determination was not substantial medical evidence and directing the workers' compensation administrative law judge (ALJ) to make an award of unapportioned disability, is annulled where: 1) apportionment may be properly based on genetics/hereditability; 2) the QME properly apportioned disability; and 3) the QME's opinion Is based on substantial medical evidence.

[03/29] Marin Community Services v. WCAB
In a writ proceeding seeking to set aside the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) holding that firefighter-petitioner was entitled to the benefit of the rebuttable presumption under Labor Code section 3212.1 that his cancer arose out of his employment, the WCAB's decision is affirmed where: 1) the WCAB's determination that petitioner was an employee of Marinwood was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statutes; and 2) the WCAB's determination that the extension of the cancer presumption ran from the date petitioner last worked as a firefighter for any agency was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statute.

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