Senate Bill 954, which took effect January 1, 2019, requires attorneys, before participating in mediation, to provide written disclosures to their clients explaining mediation confidentiality and obtain written consent from their clients indicating that they understand the breadth and impact of mediation confidentiality. For decades, California courts, and public policy, have favored voluntary resolution. To prompt this option as an alternative to trial, or even arbitration, in the mid-nineties, the California Legislature approved the codification of mediation confidentiality in Evidence [...]
DO YOU GIVE A HOOT IF ADA LITIGATION OVER WEBSITE INACCESSIBILITY TO THE DISABLED IS ON THE RISE IN CALIFORNIA?
Federal judiciary records for 2018 disclose that court filings under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III lawsuits are rising at a significantly greater pace nationwide. In mid-2018, a study prognosticated that if the number of ADA Title III lawsuit filings continued at the current rate, by the end of this year there will be at least 30% more ADA Title III lawsuits filed in 2018 than in 2017. And interestingly, this substantial increase is largely due to the [...]
Nearly two decades ago, the California Supreme Court ruled that pre-dispute contractual jury waivers are not enforceable. However, the Court emphasized that parties to a contract could avail themselves of two options to avoid the requirement of a jury trial – arbitration and judicial reference. (See Grafton Partners L.P. v. Superior Court (2005) 36 Cal.4th 944, 964.) In short, California law permits parties to proactively avoid the possible expense and uncertainty of trial by jury by contractually electing to resolve [...]
Gig Workers Fighting For Employee Status (Including Uber Drivers) Get A “Lyft” From the California Supreme Court
On Monday (April 30, 2018), the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, No. S222732. In this very significant decision, the Court altered its decades-old test for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Since the upsurge of independent contractors operating in California, largely resulting from companies like Uber and Lyft (and other “gig economy” workers), seeking to utilize the flexible staffing model, it will be imperative for [...]
Most business people have at least a passing familiarity with the mediation process. And most counsel agree that it is a low risk process that more often than not will lead to positive outcomes, and oftentimes, resolution of disputes. Even if the parties to the dispute are paying a retired judge who charges $600 per hour for a day or two of his or her time, the process is vastly cheaper (and quicker) than protracted civil litigation or even arbitration, [...]
On October 14, 2017, Governor Edmund Brown signed into law, under Labor Code section 218.7, Assembly Bill 1701 (“AB 1701”) making general contractors jointly liable with subcontractors who fail to pay an employee’s wages or make required benefit contributions – even though the subcontractor has already been paid in full for its work. AB 1701, while moving through the California Legislature, was sponsored by union supporters representing carpenters, masons and other trades, was designed to force general contractors to “assume, [...]