• PUBLISHED APPELLATE DECISIONS

    • Tipton-Whittingham v. City of Los Angeles, 34 Cal.4th 604 (2004). The California Supreme Court held that in order to obtain an attorneys’ fees award under the catalyst theory, absent a judicially recognized change in the legal relationship between the parties, plaintiff must establish that the lawsuit was the catalyst that motivated defendants to provide the primary relief sought. The Court further held that the award may not generally be obtained under the catalyst theory merely based on the acceleration of ongoing remedial measures by a public entity defendant.
    • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California v. Dewayne Cargill, 32 Cal.4th 491(2004). The California Supreme Court held that the Public Employees’ Retirement Law ("PERL") incorporates common law principles into its definition for a contracting agency employee, and that PERL requires contracting public agencies to enroll in CalPERS all common law employees except those excluded under a specific statutory or contractual provision.
    • Henkel Corporation v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., 29 Cal.4th 934 (2003). The California Supreme Court held that the assignment of an insurance policy’s benefits to a successor company requires the consent of the insurer unless the case falls within one of the following exceptions: the successor company’s liability for products producing injury arises by operation of law; there is a consideration or merger of the two companies; there is a virtual destruction of the injured party’s remedies against the predecessor company; and/or where a statute imposes liability upon the successor company without regard to contract.
    • Mobley v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al., 90 Cal.App.4th 1221 (2001). The Court affirmed the LAUSD’s demurrer to plaintiff’s Writ Petition for Administrative Mandamus since it was barred by the statute of limitations set forth in the California Government Code and United States Code Section 1983.
    • State of California v. Superior Court, 78 Cal.App.4th 1019 (2000). The Court held that the State of California did not own the groundwater, making the owned property exclusion inapplicable.
    • San Mateo Community College District v. Half Moon Bay Limited Partnership, 65 Cal.App.4th 401 (1998). The Court held that the determinable term of an oil and gas lease is not extended by the force majeure clause.
    • SAIC v. Superior Court, 39 Cal.App.4th 1095 (1995). The Court of Appeal recognized the right of litigants to recover certain innovative litigation costs.
    • City of Moorpark v. Moorpark Unified School District, 54 Cal.3d 921 (1991). In a matter of first impression, the California Supreme Court (in a 7-0 decision) held that school districts were not under a mandatory duty to sell surplus school property to interested governmental entities pursuant to the Naylor Act. (Education Code Section 39390, et seq.)
    • Selma Pressure Treating Company, Inc. v. Osmose Wood Preserving, Inc., 221 Cal.App.3d 1601 (1990). The Court held that, in public nuisances involving groundwater contamination, comparative equitable indemnity may be sought from suppliers of materials contributing to the creation or maintenance of such nuisances.
    • Moorpark Unified School District v. Superior Court, 223 Cal.App.3d 954 (1990). In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeal ruled that a public entity has the right to cross-complain against the City in a redevelopment action.
    • Okun v. Morton, 203 Cal.App.3d 805 (1988). The Appellate Court affirmed the ownership interest and attendant rights of an investor in the Hard Rock Café restaurants based upon a 1982 agreement. The Court further ruled that the 1982 agreement applied to all future Hard Rock Cafe; developments, and was not an illusory "agreement to agree" as argued by defendants.
    • United States v. Malis, 737 F.2d 1511 (9th Cir. 1984). The Court held that an attorney was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his privilege assertion, prior to the production of any documents pursuant to the IRS summons. Upon remand to the U.S. District Court, the privilege assertion was upheld, and no documents were produced.

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