California Appellate Decision Highlights Heavy Burden On Property Owners To Keep Their Premises Safe

Individuals and entities that own or occupy property have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.  To comply with this duty, those who control the property must inspect the premises or take other proper means to ascertain the condition of the property.  If a dangerous condition exists that would have Read More…

Supreme Court Upholds Enforceability Of Individualized Arbitration Agreements In Employment Contracts

Employers sometimes require their employees to enter into employment contracts requiring employment disputes between the parties to be resolved through individualized arbitration proceedings.  Such agreements include a waiver of the employee’s right to participate in class action employment lawsuits.  Until recently, the enforceability of individualized arbitration agreements was questionable following a controversial ruling by the Read More…

Appellate Decision Clarifies The Scope Of A Release Of Claims Against A Defendant’s “Affiliates”

When a lawsuit settles, in exchange for the settlement funds the defendant typically requires the plaintiff to sign a release by which the plaintiff releases its claims against the defendant.  The terms of a release are therefore critical to the protection of the defendant and its affiliates from further litigation.  As a result, it is Read More…

Recent California Supreme Court Decision May Affect Discoverability Of Crawford Invoices

In the landmark decision  of Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc. (2008) 44 Cal.4th 541, the Supreme Court of California held that a contractual indemnitor incurs a duty to defend its indemnitee as soon as the indemnitee tenders its defense to the indemnitor.  The decision had a significant impact on construction defect lawsuits, which typically Read More…

Appellate Court Clarifies Employers’ Third-Party Indemnity Obligations In Employee Suits

It is well established in California that, in a case involving an employee who is injured on the job, the employee’s judgment against a third party must be reduced by the amount attributable to the employer’s proportionate share of fault, up to the amount of workers’ compensation benefits paid.  However, when the employer’s share of Read More…

Appellate Court Clarifies Obligation Of Corporations To Make Out-Of-State Records Available For Inspection By Shareholders

The California Corporations Code includes several provisions related to the creation, storage, and inspection of corporate records.  For example, Corporations Code section 1601 states that corporations must make certain records, such as accounting books and minutes from board and committee meetings, available to shareholders upon written demand, subject to certain limitations. In a recent decision Read More…

Appellate Court Addresses Enforceability Of Website “Terms Of Use” Under Browsewrap Agreements

Contracts formed on the internet come primarily in one of two forms: “clickwrap” (or “click-through”) agreements, in which website users are required to click on an “I agree” box after being presented with a list of terms and conditions of use; and “browsewrap” agreements, where a website’s terms and conditions of use are generally posted 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…

Court Of Appeal Expands Application Of Primary Assumption Of The Risk Doctrine To Recreational Activities

Under the primary assumption of the risk doctrine, a property owner has no duty to protect a plaintiff against risks that are inherent in a sporting or recreational activity if the activity involves an inherent risk of injury to voluntary participants and the risk cannot be eliminated without altering the fundamental nature of the activity.  Read More…

California Appellate Courts Split On Application Of Right To Repair Act

Under the Right to Repair Act (California Civil Code section 895, et seq.), before a homeowner who claims defective residential construction can file an action against the builder in court, the homeowner must give notice of the claimed defects to the builder and engage in a non-adversarial pre-litigation procedure, which affords the builder an opportunity Read More…