California Supreme Court Clarifies Five-Year Requirement To Bring Cases To Trial

In the new case of Gaines v. Fidelity National Title Insurance, the California Supreme Court clarified what constitutes a “complete stay” for purposes of tolling Code of Civil Procedure section 583.310′s five-year limit to bring a case to trial.  The Court ruled that a stay of the proceedings to allow the parties to engage in Read More…

Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Judge’s Duty To Answer Jury Questions During Deliberations

For nearly 50 years, the standard set forth in Tellis v. State has governed the duties of a district court judge in Nevada when responding to jury inquiries during deliberations.  Under Tellis, the judge has wide discretion in the manner and extent to which the judge answers a jury’s questions during deliberations.  Previously, if the Read More…

Appellate Court Clarifies Burden Of Proof Regarding Independent Contractor Relationships

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer may be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees or agents.  When respondeat superior is at issue, an initial determination is often whether the alleged tortfeasor qualifies as an independent contractor rather than an employee because, under certain circumstances, a hirer cannot be held vicariously liable Read More…

Contractual Provisions Requiring Written Amendments: Not Always What They Seem

In order to avoid unintentional or even unilateral amendments to contracts, parties often insert a contractual provision requiring any amendments to be in writing.  However, a recent California Court of Appeal case held that the conduct of parties to a contract effectively amended the contract despite the contract including a provision expressly requiring that all Read More…