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There Are No Small Conflicts: Due to Undisclosed, Known Conflict, Supreme Court Agrees that Engagement Agreement Is Unenforceable but Keeps Door Open to Law Firm Receiving Compensation Under Equitable Principles

Posted by Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP on Sep 12th 2018

In Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. (8/30/2018 No. S232946), the California Supreme Court held that the conflict of interest of the law firm (“Sheppard Mullin”) rendered its engagement agreement, including an arbitration provision, with its client (“J-M”) unenforceable because the agreement violated the California Rules of Professional Conduct (“RPC”). Although the agreement included an “advance” conflict waiver, the Court deemed it ineffective because She
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Statute Requiring Automatic Revocation of Ex-Spouse’s Primary Beneficiary Designation In Life Insurance Policy Does Not Violate Contracts Clause Of The Constitution

Posted by Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP on Aug 12th 2018

Statute Requiring Automatic Revocation of Ex-Spouse’s Primary Beneficiary Designation In Life Insurance Policy Does Not Violate Contracts Clause Of The Constitution
n Sveen v. Melin (No. 16-1432, filed June 11, 2018) (“Sveen”), the United States Supreme Court held that a statute which automatically revoked life insurance beneficiary designations following the policyholder’s divorce did not violate the Contracts Clause of the United States Constitution. (U.S. Const. Art. I § 10, cl. 1.)In 2002, the Minnesota Legislature passed a statute that automatically revokes the designation of a spouse as the beneficiary of life insurance policy if the policy is purchas
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Need and Prejudice: An Eleventh-Hour Trial Continuance Where A Key Witness Is Unexpectedly Unavailable

Posted by Law Firm of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP on Aug 12th 2018

Need and Prejudice: An Eleventh-Hour Trial Continuance Where A Key Witness Is Unexpectedly Unavailable
In Padda v. Superior Court (GI Excellence), No. E070522, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two, recently held that a trial court abused its discretion in denying Defendants/Cross-Complainants’ request for a trial continuance where their key expert witness suddenly became ill twelve days before trial and before his deposition had been taken.The case arose from an employment-related contract dispute between two Gastroenterologists (hereafter “Petitioners”) and Plaintiff/Cros
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Employee Barred By Two-Year Statute of Limitations Period From Bringing Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim

Posted by Credit to Haight, Brown Bonesteel on Aug 12th 2018

Employee Barred By Two-Year Statute of Limitations Period From Bringing Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim
In Wassmann v. South Orange County Community College District, No. G053411, published June 12, 2018, the California Court of Appeal held that an employee was barred from bringing an Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claim by the two-year Statute of Limitations Period.On March 29, 2010, following a series of disputes between Ms. Wassmann, a tenured librarian, and several South Orange County Community College District (the District) employees, the District issued a Notice to Correct Def
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Middle District of Pennsylvania Holds No Coverage for Claims for Faulty Workmanship

Posted by By: Michael Disantis on Aug 12th 2018

Middle District of Pennsylvania Holds No Coverage for Claims for Faulty Workmanship
Last week, we reviewed Lenick Constr., Inc. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2018 WL 2727394, — Fed. Appx. —- (3d. Cir. 2018), a Third Circuit case addressing the scope of coverage for claims arising from faulty workmanship under Pennsylvania law as set forth in Kvaerner Metals Division of Kvaerner US, Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 900 A.2d 888 (Pa. 2006). This week, we continue our “Kvaerner Mid-Year Update,” addressing two recent cases in the United States District Court for the Middle Distr
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