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California Supreme Court Upholds Multiple 998 Settlement Offers

Posted in Settlement
In a prior post, I discussed the disagreement among appellate courts concerning the effect of multiple settlement offers under Code of Civil Procedure Section 998. Yesterday, in Martinez v. Brownco Construction Co., Inc., the California Supreme Court resolved the dispute by holding that a later 998 offer does not extinguish an earlier one. Its reasoning… Continue Reading

One More Reason to Settle: Courts Split over Review of Orders Approving Good Faith Settlements

Posted in Settlement
In Oak Springs Villa Homeowners Association v. Advanced Truss Systems, Inc. (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 1304 (Oak Springs), a Court of Appeal held that a trial court’s good faith settlement determination is a non-appealable interlocutory ruling that is only reviewable by a timely petition for writ of mandate pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 877.6.… Continue Reading

A Plaintiff’s Right to Dismiss Is Not Absolute.

Posted in Attorneys' Fees, Contracts
A plaintiff has the right to voluntarily dismiss, with or without prejudice, all or any part of an action before the commencement of trial. Civ. Proc. § 581. A plaintiff that fears losing may simply dismiss his lawsuit to prevent the defendant from obtaining an award of contractual attorney’s fees. Civ. Code § 1717 ("[w]here… Continue Reading

When A Court Grants an Injunction on the Merits No Undertaking Is Required

Posted in Uncategorized
The Court in Bardasian v. Superior Court 201 Cal.App.4th 1371 (2011) issued a peremptory writ and reversed an order dissolving an injunction because plaintiffs failed to post a bond. The case involved a foreclosure dispute between borrowers and their lender over whether the lender complied with Civil Code section 2923.5, subd. (a). Pursuant to that section, a… Continue Reading

He Who Hesitates, May be Too Late!

Posted in Uncategorized
 In Trident Labs, Inc. v. Merrill Lynch Commercial Finance Corp., the Court of Appeal held that a party, who has the option to litigate in more than one forum and litigates extensively in one forum, cannot then decide to enforce its rights to litigate in another forum. Pursuant to a forum selection clause, Trident Labs agreed… Continue Reading

Spoliation as Evidence of Guilt

Posted in Discovery, Evidence, Trial
In determining what inferences to draw from the evidence against a party, the jury is permitted to consider a party’s willful suppression of evidence. Evid. Code Section 413. In Thor v. Boska (2nd Dist. 1974) 38 Cal.App.3d 558, a doctor, who was sued for malpractice, failed to produce his original charts. His explanation was that, after… Continue Reading